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Garces boys, girls water polo teams secure EYL titles on road

PORTERVILLE – Two weeks ago, Porterville girls water polo team spoiled senior night for Garces.

But on Tuesday on the road against the Panthers, both of the boys and girls water polo programs for Garces came away victorious and secured outright East Yosemite League championships.

First up was the boys, seeking a second consecutive undefeated league slate. 

Sophomore Rory Begin scored three of his five goals in the first quarter as the Rams opened up with a four-goal lead and beat Porterville 17-12.

The Rams (19-7, 8-0 EYL) repeat as undefeated EYL champions for the second consecutive season.

“Super excited. Back-to-back league champs with back-to-back undefeated seasons in league,” Gall said. “It wasn’t the cleanest game, but we found a way to win. We won’t always win pretty but we did enough things right in the pool to come away with the victory.”

The Rams likely are a top-2 seed in the Central Section Division I playoffs that will be announced either Friday or Saturday.

Begin and Joe Starr led the Rams with five goals and George Rice added four while Nate James had 11 saves. 

“It means a lot to us. We’ve been training really hard for this,” Begin said. “We’ve been playing and training for this moment. It feels like a good completion to have near the end of the season.”

On the girls side, the Rams were looking to pay back the favor on senior night after Porterville beat Garces 10-9 in sudden death on Oct. 10.

This time around, Garces (20-7, 7-1) got off to a hot start and beat the Panthers 20-5 to claim the outright EYL title.

“It was pretty great,” sophomore Isabella Negre said. “We all came out here psyched. We were pretty nervous, but I am glad we pulled through.”

Negre had all four of her goals in the first half as the Rams built a 9-2 halftime lead.

Abby Schechter and Isabella Garcia both led the Rams with five goals each as Jasmine Gorman had three. Mia Sill, the lone senior on the roster, got one in the net in the third quarter to cap off an 11-0 run.  

“That was a fun game,” Gall said. “I know there was a little bit of nerves going into the game because of what happened last time, but I told the girls that at full strength, we are very hard to beat.”

Garces has a strong shot at the No. 1 seed in D-II when the brackets are released later this week. 

Girls water polo

Garces 20, Porterville 5

At Porterville

GMHS: Goals: Schechter 5, I. Garcia 5, Negre 4, Gorman 3, Wimbish, Cheek, Sill. Saves: Waguespack 14. 

W-L: GMHS 21-7, 7-1 EYL. Rams win EYL title outright. 

JV: GMHS 16, PHS 4. Rams win league title

Boys water polo

Garces 17, Porterville 12

At Porterville

GMHS: Goals: Starr 5, Begin 5, Rice 4, Gonzalez 2, Galanski. Saves: James 11

W-L: GMHS 19-7, 8-0 EYL. Garces repeats as undefeated league champions


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