Otto Schniepp | Writer
October 14, 2022
Our hometown water polo team is a force to be reckoned with. We are the top-ranked in the division (and blowing number two out of the water). This season has been going swimmingly having almost all of the games be an absolute blowout. However, this most recent game was a little too close for comfort.
The Triton water polo plan is almost the same in every single game. The game plan at the beginning of the game would be to get down the pool as fast as possible and set up in a Three Three offense (a two-by-three setup). Once this was achieved we would pass the ball around the perimeter whilst looking for senior Jake Hoss a.k.a. “Big Hoss” in the center to give them the eyes and absolutely work it. Nine out of ten times this plan would work flawlessly and would end up being a goal. If this plan did not work then we would either have had seniors Cross Viter or Ray Hickman snipe it from the outside. This game against Capo, however, was much different.
On Tuesday, October 11 our San Clemente Tritons went head to head with Capo Valley Cougars. This would be the Triton’s last away game with the last four going to be at home. Throughout this game, we were close all the way up to the bell. We started out fast Having, Senior, Aaron Hathaway won the sprint for us in an all-out race to the ball. We won the sprint and started our game plan right off the bat looking for “Big Hoss” in the middle. Something was different this time though. The defense was tight, we couldn’t get Jake open, and the ball was stuck. Our normal plan did not work. So we changed it. After the first quarter, we were up by two. Our goalie, Junior, Trae Mantecon said, “From watching them warm up shooting I wasn’t expecting them to be that strong. Once they took a couple on me I realized i was wrong” When coach Logan Powell Brought everyone into the corner during the quarter break he told us the new game plan. The new plan was to get the ball on the right side and then drive from the left, hopefully getting the ball into the driver to try and get either a goal or a kick out so we could be a man up for 20 seconds. We pulled it off several times and allowed u to stay in the game. Throughout the second, third, and fourth quarters, we were doing the same thing and getting the same results. However, The Capo valley cougars were doing the same and keeping up with us. At the end of the fourth quarter, it was Twelve to Twelve. Now we’re in overtime.
Overtime in water polo is a 3-minute quarter which is less than half the time of their usual 7-minute quarter. Basically whoever scored the next point wins. For the first two minutes of overtime, we held them still and they held us still as well. All up until the last minute of overtime. The score went up by one but, it went up one more for capo. All the players and parents were going crazy screaming, yelling, and splashing. The Tritons were defeated; there were only about 35 seconds left so they would have one shot clock (30 seconds) to make it. During that last 30 seconds, the tension in the air was so thick you would need bolt cutters to break it. Everything seems like it was going normal with the defense being as intense as always. However, we returned with twice the intensity. Big Hoss in the middle was able to get around his defender which forced the defense on the outside to come back and double-team the threat in the middle. This move opened up the perimeters for shots from the outside. We had our best shooters out there and at the last second of the shot clock, we shot and scored opening up a double over time.
If you were able to copy and paste events that happened the second overtime was almost exactly the same as the first two minutes nothing too much happening. There were a few shots taken by capo but they were absolutely eaten by our goalie, junior Trae Mantecon. The last one that he blocked left only around 12 seconds left on the clock and a tied game. Trae looked down the pool and he saw junior Zane McMains in a fast breakaway going straight to the goal. Trae passes it to Zane with an absolute dime of a pass which allowed Zane to keep his speed as he got up, up, and even further up then he has ever before. He fakes once hard to the cross side of the cage and absolutely buries it to the close side of the goal right at the buzzer winning the game for the Triton. The game-winning shooter says, “It felt great, it was so sick to end the game with this shot. The game went on for so long, and everyone was so hyped up when I slammed it in at the buzzer.” This one-shot marked the defeat of the Capo Valley Cougars by our own, San Clemente Triton’s. Come and support us in our next game on Tuesday, October 18 in our effort to crush San Juan Hills.