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updated: 5/22/2014 10:01 PM

Naperville North clobbers Sandburg in quarterfinal

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By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent

How can there be a blowout at the state tournament?

It's not like Sandburg and Naperville North haven't seen each other this year. In that matchup Naperville North broke open a close game after halftime back on April 12.

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"It was 3-3 at halftime,'' said Naperville North coach Martin Bell.

Thursday marked the beginning of the boys water polo state finals at Stevenson High School, and Naperville North junior Drake McClure scored the first goal for the Huskies less than 30 seconds into the match.

It was like McClure was just delivering the mail. He just kind of dropped the goal in. No one bothered him while he was doing it.

Naperville North (33-1) breezed to a date in the semifinals. The Huskies held a 9-2 halftime lead and never looked back in a 17-4 romp over the Eagles. McClure scored all four of his goals in the first quarter. His second one seemingly was as easy as the first one.

"We have a good offense and that allowed me to be open,'' McClure said. "Sandburg is a great team. It was much closer the first time we played them."

The Huskies are playing with a chip on their shoulder.

"They say we haven't played anybody super strong,'' he said, "but we are in this to win it."

Sandburg didn't surrender. With three minutes to play in the first quarter, Mitch Zieler tallied, cutting the Huskies lead to 2-1. Naperville North answered by scoring seven straight goals to break it open.

Blake-Daniel Chapman's second goal of the game made it 9-1 halfway through the second quarter.

A year ago, the Huskies took third place in the state. This high-powered team handed the important role of goalie on this day to a sophomore. Jack Roach certainly did his job. Two of the four Eagles goals came on penalty shots.

"I really didn't expect this,'' Roach said. "We heard they had a great goalie, also that Zach Roper was really good. I was pretty nervous to start, but I got out there and blocked a couple of shots. We really connected well today and we had a shutdown defense."

Naperville North put the game away in the third quarter. Doing most of the damage was senior Nolan Roberts. He scored 3 of this team's 5 goals. Luke Landiak and Ryan Towers also joined in on the scoring fun as the Naperville North lead expanded to 14-4 after three quarters.

"We've got a great team,'' Bell said. "We don't depend on just one player. We are now 33-1 for a reason. These boys have stepped up. We came out hard tonight to start with and that's been one of our issues."

Another senior, Gianmarco Duin, turned into a scorer in the fourth quarter. He scored two goals in the final quarter. Joe Cassano finished up the Naperville North scoring in the final 25 seconds.

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