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Islanders Water Polo Takes 4th at State

The Islanders were stopped by Curtis and Newport this weekend to finish 4th at the Washington State Water Polo Championship. Three varsity starters were named to the All-State team.

The Islanders drive to win a Washington State Water Polo Championship ended on the final day of the State Tournament. The Maroon Squad entered the tournament as the number-one seed but fell to the Curtis Vikings in the semi-finals 11-7.  

Bellevue went on to beat Curtis in the finals, to claim the State Championship for the second year in a row.

Mercer Island and the Vikings had met earlier this fall at the Oregon Tualatin Hills Tournament.  The Islanders came out on top of that clash, 7-4. However on this occasion, the Vikings were pumped for a win in front of a home crowd at their brand new pool, the site of this year’s State Championship tournament.

The Islanders were caught flat-footed as the Vikings jumped to a 6-0 lead in the first half, scoring 3 in each quarter.  This score was almost a complete reversal of their September game where MIHS led 6-1 in the opening half. The Islanders were shooting but Curtis’ All-State senior goalie, Griffin Collins, proved formidable, blocking 4 shots in the first quarter. In the second quarter Curtis was able to capitalize on two man-ups to score and the Islanders had 6 more shots blocked.

The Islanders did not get on the board until Topher LeCrampe lobbed a shot with 4:16 remaining in the 3rd quarter. With 3:15 remaining, the Vikings lead had built to 9-1 and the Islanders dream was fading. But, the Islanders rallied and began to connect with the net, closing the gap to within 4 goals, down 10-6 at the end of the 3rd. Goalie Matt LeProwse was able to steal the ball in the opening seconds of the 4th, leading to a goal by Sam Peterson.  The momentum dramatically shifted and all of a sudden it looked like the impossible could occur as the Islanders were down 10-7 with 6:30 remaining in the 4th. Curtis, though, proved stubborn and used the clock to their advantage to grind out the minutes. The Islanders were able to get off 6 shots in the 4th but 2 barred out and 3 were blocked leading to a final score of 11-7 with Mercer Island coming up short.

The Islanders path to the semis included victories over Bainbridge 26-6, Puyallup 11-4 and Auburn-Riverside 14-10. The Islanders ended the tournament with a loss to Newport in the 3rd/4th place playoff game 9-8. The Islanders had beaten the Knights in their two previous regular season games. However, Newport All-State player, Lee Griffin, was the story in this game. Griffin scored 5 of Newport’s 6 first half goals. The Islanders were able to contain Griffin to 1 goal in the second half but it was too late. The game was tied at 8 all with under a minute left in the 4th when Newport scored and the Islanders were unable to get another shot off.  

In addition to the 4th place finish, 3 Islanders were named to the All-State teams. Sam Peterson, 1st team, David Rudokas, 2nd team, Connor Gullstad, Honorable Mention.

"I am really proud of the way these guys came together as a team. They had the desire and work-ethic and team play," said MIHS Boys Water Polo Coach Erik Grosshans. "They became a defensive powerhouse. They showed themselves worthy of a top-four finish at state."

Final 2012 Boys High School Water Polo Rankings (Unoffical)

  1. Bellevue
  2. Curtis
  3. Newport
  4. Mercer Island
  5. Auburn Riverside
  6. Auburn Mountainview
  7. Enumclaw
  8. Puyallup
  9. Lakes
  10. Peninsula

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