Boys water polo: Conant downs Barrington to advance to state
Host Conant outscored Barrington 5-1 in the second half of its own boys water polo sectional final to win 6-2 Saturday and advance to the state finals at Stevenson next Friday
Conant will face with Fenwick or York next Friday night in the quarterfinals. The win was the Cougars fourth sectional title and the hope to exceed last years fourth place finish.
"We're just a grind-it-out type of team," said Conant coach Tim Daniels of his top-seeded 29-4 sectional team.
"We want to take high percentage shots and keep our opponents to low percentage shots. This is a team of veterans and nothing seems to rattle them.'
Barrington (18-8), which had lost to Conant twice during the year made it difficult in the first half. The Broncos took a 1-0 lead in the first quarter on Aiden Roth's goal.
The lead stood up until Justin Lim tied it for the Cougars at 6:38 of the second period.
With 4:38 left in the third quarter, Lim found teammate Noah Lawson, who would score 3 goals in the second half, open in the middle. Lawson's shot found its way into the goal and the Cougars were never headed.
"Our goal is to make perfect passes," said Lim. "For us, if we pass well and shoot well, the ball will find its way to the goal. That is something we have improved in our game from last year. By giving that extra 10 percent in practice every day it has helped make us a successful team. We don't let a score get us down. When we trailed Hersey 3-0 we put it together and pulled out the win Friday night. We just find ways to fight through it."
The Cougars were stymied by stellar play from Barrington goalkeeper Wyatt Lindquist, who had 9 of his 15 saves in the first half.
" Lindquist played a great game for us and so did our defense," said Broncos coach Rob Emery. "To hold a team like Conant to six goals is a good feat. We knew that we would have to have a flawless game to beat them. Conant did a great job in shutting us down."
Spencer Urban made the score 3-1 for the Cougars with 2:32 left in the third period. Alexander Hirjoi finished the scoring with a bounced in goal with 1:54 left for a 4-1 lead.
Josh Robinson scored with 12 seconds left in the period to cut the lead to 4-2.
Lawson added goals at 3:54 and 2:59 of the final period.
Conant junior goalkeeper Aaron Nagorzanski knew Barrington would be ready after two previous losses.
"They brought it to us this time," said Nagorzanski. "They really gave us a good fight. Our intensity paid off for us in the second half. We really earned this one. My defense did a great job helping me out. I had good saves (10) because of the defense that was able to give me good vision of their shots."
"No one cares who makes the noise on this team,' said Daniels. "Today Lim had a great game for us. He's an excellent athlete who knows how to handle things. Things he does doesn't always show up on the scoresheet."