First published in the Nov. 5 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
The Burroughs High School varsity boys’ water polo team was ousted from the CIF-SS Division III playoffs after falling at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada Flintridge, 14-8, on Tuesday.
The Bears originally weren’t expected to compete in playoffs, however, rival Burbank forfeited a majority of its wins and was ineligible to compete in the postseason due to an unspecified CIF Southern Section rule violation. JBHS moved up a spot in the league standings and qualified for a tough matchup against Flintridge Prep.
“We had a game plan. We played them once before this season and we tried to run it but they were a tough team and came out on top,” Burroughs head coach Jacob Cook said. “The guys played hard, I think they were just the better team this time.”
JBHS struck first, as Harrison Siegel found the back of the net with 5:49 remaining in the first quarter. Flintridge Prep struck back and gained a 4-1 advantage, a lead it wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the game.
Siegel scored for a second time in the opening quarter with 2:03 remaining to pull within two of Flintridge Prep.
The Bears were sound defensively in the second quarter despite being held scoreless on offense. Flintridge Prep scored twice near the six- and five-minute marks of the quarter, but Burroughs goalie Atticus Mata made five saves to keep it a 7-2 game until halftime. Mata finished the game with 12 saves.
The Bears were held scoreless for nearly 14 minutes of regulation between the first quarter and the third quarter until Logan Turla scored from with 1:42 remaining in the third quarter. Turla added another goal in the final seconds of the period to make it a 10-4 game heading into the last quarter.
Burroughs’ Harrison Zekowski scored on a power play with 4:51 remaining in the fourth quarter before adding another score just over a minute later. Siegel and Zekowski each added a goal in the final minutes before the Bears’ season ended.
“Harrison and Harrison, those are the guys that want to score,” Cook said. “They are two of our top scorers and they want to put the ball in the back of the net.”
JBHS, which finished fourth in the league standings with a 5-4 record (11-15 overall), will look to return to the postseason next year.