Boys Water Polo: Naperville Central, North to meet in finals
Updated: May 11, 2012 11:09PM
Neighboring rivals Naperville North and Naperville Central will face off Saturday in the boys water polo final at the Metea Valley Sectional following victories Friday in the semifinals over Neuqua Valley and Hinsdale Central, respectively.
Naperville North (29-3) made it three wins this season over Neuqua Valley by defeating the Wildcats, 13-4. Aaron Katz and Eric Curia each scored four goals, and goalkeeper Michael Shabel slammed the door on the Wildcats (17-14-1).
“Our defense did a good job of slowing (Neuqua Valley) down, keeping the ball as long as possible and not giving them an opportunity to score,” Huskies coach John Blumthal said. “This made it easy for our counterattack and offense to get the goals we needed.”
Shabel’s defense was very effective passing down the pool to move into the offense zone.
“I didn’t have to make many saves,” said Shabel. “We have one of the best conditioned teams and that helped us with our counterattack to win the game.”
The Redhawks (22-10) jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead after one period against the pesky Red Devils (20-10-2). The Redhawks, who led 15-9 in the fourth quarter, took the semifinal game 17-13. Dennis Herron scored five goals to lead the Redhawks into the finals.
“We came out with some good intensity.” Redhawks coach Bill Salentine said. “In the second quarter we didn’t play very well. In the third quarter we won 4-2 and held on in the fourth. So we played two and a half good quarters of water polo. We keep saying when we play four quarters of water polo, we are going to be a very tough team to beat.” Goalkeeper Matt Prestinario came up huge late in the game, making three consecutive saves in the final 30 seconds to seal the victory.