Nov 1, 2012 11:28 PM by Andrew Masuda
The Santa Ynez High boys water polo team built an early lead and never looked back. The Pirates beat rival Cabrillo 14-9 to win the Los Padres League Championship in Santa Maria on Thursday night.
The Pirates improved to 19-7 overall and a perfect 7-0 in league, while Cabrillo fell to 15-10 overall and 5-2 in league matches.
Santa Ynez built an early 4-1 lead after the first quarter thanks to two goals from Eric Illes and Sawyer Crosby. The teams scored 4 times each in the second quarter to give the Pirates an 8-5 lead at the half.
A goal from Cannon Creese pulled Cabrillo to within 8-5 in the third quarter, but the Conquistadores would never get any closer.
Seven different Pirates scored in the match. Karl Fredrickson and Thomas Huddle had three goals each. Illes, Crosby and Antonio Barret had two apiece for the Pirates. Greg Hatchell and Andrew Imani had one score each.
Eduardo Cardenas led the Conquistadores with a game-high 5 goals. Phillip Naughton, Cannon Creese, Nick Matulis and Alfredo Navarro each scored one goal for Cabrillo.
The Pirates credited a pregame speech in the locker room for firing them up and preparing them for a victory.
"It really fired us up. It was a big win for us. I'm really excited to be league champs and it's a great way to finish league for our senior year," said Thomas Huddle, who finished with 3 goals.
"Any win against Cabrillo is a big win, especially in a league championship like this. It's great. It's a great confidence boost for us going into the postseason," added Fredrickson.
Santa Ynez earned the league's #1 seed for CIF for the second time in three years and the third time in five years. The Pirates also won in 2008 and 2010. .
The Conquistadores are the #2 seed and headed to the CIF playoffs for the 42nd time in 48 years. They last won the league title in 2009.
Morro Bay earned the league's third and final seed. The Pirates edged defending LPL champion Nipomo 9-8 in the third place game.
Santa Ynez was ranked #8 in the latest CIF Division 6 poll. Last year, the Pirates lost in the CIF semifinals.
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