Water polo: Stevenson sweeps girls, boys sectional championships
No. 1-ranked Stevenson was not about to let its guard down when the Patriots faced No. 2 Libertyville Saturday morning for the championship of the Buffalo Grove girls water polo sectional.
Stevenson (32-1) built an 8-4 lead over the Wildcats (20-7) at halftime and they never looked back as the Patriots captured a 15-6 victory to advance to the Elite Eight state tournament where they will host Sandburg in the quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Libertyville got on the scoreboard just 40 seconds into the game when Chhaya Doshi fired a close-range shot past University of Michigan-bound Stevenson goalie Katie Delaney for a quick 1-0 lead.
Stevenson's Becca Stone scored the first of her 5 goals to tie the game at 1-1 before teammate Camila Maya scored the first of her 3 goals for a 2-1 edge.
The Wildcats stayed close early on with Emily Fink's goal tying the score at 2-2. But a goal by Stevenson's Belle Cloeter and a rebound goal by Stone made the score 4-2 after one quarter.
A goal by Berger made the score 5-2 before Fink's goal cut the gap to 5-3 early in the second quarter. Cloeter scored on a spin shot for a 6-3 lead before Stone scored twice in a 41-second span for an 8-3 advantage.
"I think it was a really good game. We all played well together, and we helped each other out in front of the cage," said Stone, whose team will be going for their fifth state title next week. "I think we're prepared, we've played a lot of those teams (in the Elite Eight) before."
Libertyville's Maya Anderson scored to cut the lead to 8-4 at halftime before Fink's third goal 28 seconds into the third quarter made the score 8-5.
But that is close as the Wildcats would get as goals by Stone, Olivia Spieth, Maya and Spieth extended the lead to 12-5 late in the period.
"They started out a little slow, but they bounced back really strong and adjusted right away," said Stevenson coach Jeff Wimer, whose only loss this season is to Hudsonville, Mich. "Becca (Stone) was at the right place at the right time, and any of our 12 girls can score."
Boys title game:
Stevenson was taking no chances when the No. 1-ranked Patriots faced No. 2 Libertyville for the Buffalo Grove boys polo championship Saturday afternoon at Buffalo Grove.
Stevenson (32-1) built a commanding 12-0 lead over the shellshocked Wildcats (25-6) after one quarter before rolling to an easy 22-5 victory for the sectional crown.
With the win, the Patriots will host Naperville North in the Elite Eight quarterfinals at 8:15 p.m. Friday. Stevenson will be aiming for its third state title in school history.
Senior Max Lapointe-St. Georges came out on fire for the Patriots on Saturday as he scored 2 of his 7 goals just 42 seconds into the contest for a quick 2-0 lead.
Stevenson junior Olin Kusevskis followed up by scoring 2 of his 8 goals for a 4-0 lead before Lapointe-St. Georges recorded the hat trick for a 5-0 advantage with 4:10 left in the opening quarter.
"I think this group of guys is really special. It all starts with our defense, and it all leads to our counter," said Lapointe-St. Georges. "We have to just take it one game at a time (next week). Last year we kind of looked ahead a little bit."
The onslaught against Libertyville goalie Tristan Backhus continued when goals by Filip Wal, Lapointe-St. Georges, Kusevskis, Lapointe-St. Georges, Andrew Mossman (4 goals) and two more by Kusevskis put the Wildcats in an insurmountable 12-0 deficit.
"Our kids are hungry and they're a group who felt they fell short of their expectations last year, not mine," said Stevenson coach Sean Wimer, who has a senior-dominated squad. "It starts with our defense. We have a great goalie (Armaan Gill), and it's hard to move the ball against us."
A goal by Libertyville's Seif Kotb broke up the shutout 42 seconds into the second quarter before a goal by Libertyville's Nolan McDonald from the point made the score 13-2 late in the first half.
The Patriots displayed great passing throughout the contest while a goal by Liberyville's Eric Sparks made the score 15-3 midway through the third quarter. Stevenson's only loss this season was to Elite Eight qualifier York, but the Patriots avenged that loss to the Dukes in a later meeting.
Stevenson's Jack Osmond added a goal late in the third quarter for an 18-4 lead before teammate Jayden Tsai scored with 17 seconds to play to account for the final score.