Poloists rise to 5-0 on season

Bainbridge’s Tristan Stringer (right) defends against Rory Wilson in the third period of play against Wilson Tuesday night. - RYAN SCHIERLING/Staff Photo
Bainbridge’s Tristan Stringer (right) defends against Rory Wilson in the third period of play against Wilson Tuesday night.
— image credit: RYAN SCHIERLING/Staff Photo

Team Ray, the Bainbridge boys’ water polo team, won four games in eight days to improve their season mark to 5-0, including wins over three squads – Newport, Kentridge and Wilson – that finished ahead of them in last year’s state tournament.

After Thursday’s 16-0 dismantling of Peninsula, first-year head coach Mead Trick said he was surprised to be undefeated at this point in the season.

“But we practiced hard all summer and it shows,” he said. “They’re all great students of the game, listen really well and get along well together. Their ball-handling skills are well-developed and they’re all pretty versatile.”

Matt Colley had three goals against Peninsula as all but one of his teammates scored. A nine-point second period broke the game wide open.

The second period was also decisive two days earlier when the team hosted Wilson. Drew Keller scored twice, while Nate Rooks, Brian Burns, Peter Wagner and Alex Morris all scored single goals as Team Ray extended a 1-0 first quarter lead to 7-1. When Wilson closed to within 9-7 in the fourth quarter, Rooks fed Burns twice for goals late in the game for an 11-7 victory. Burns also contributed 10 steals, while goalie Jacob Whitmore added three steals and had eight saves.

The previous week, the team defeated Kentridge 8-5 at home on Friday after a last-minute 9-8 victory at Newport the day before.

Trailing 3-1 at the half to Kentridge, Bainbridge finally took the lead in the fourth quarter. Rooks led the team with four goals, while Jon Rochelle and Burns each added a pair. Whitmore had twelve saves, including a crucial block of a penalty shot.

Against Newport, Rochelle’s goal with about a minute remaining broke an 8-8 tie as the team overcame a 6-5 third quarter deficit. Colley had two crucial steals in the final period.

Rooks and Burns led the team with three goals apiece, Rochelle had two and Morris added one. Whitmore had 13 saves and six steals, while Rochelle had five steals and Colley had four.

The team travels to Curtis next Tuesday. “That definitely will be a tough game,” Trick said.

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