September 29, 2001

By Dave Orr, Bishop’s Water Polo Beat Writer

The Knights were the top seed entering the Villa Park Water Polo Tournament and they filled the bill; storming through the finals and scoring a total of 82 goals in 5 games.  In the finals, Bishop’s pounded La Canada 14-4.

The defending champion and tournament host, Villa Park, set the brackets for the 32-team tournament and hoped to play Bishop’s in the finals.  However, they were upset in the quarterfinals by La Canada and did not advance to the semifinals.  The other semifinal game pitted the Knights against El Toro.  It was an exact rematch of the South Coast Tournament semifinals just one week ago.  In that game, Bishop’s dominated with a 12-6 win.  This time El Toro had done its homework and the game was nip and tuck until the very end.  El Toro led for most of the 1st half until Andy Orr’s rebound goal on a Tyler Kandel shot tied the game at 5-5 with less than a minute to go.

 The game seemed to finally turn at the beginning of the 4th quarter.  A Knights miscue had set up an El Toro breakaway goal at the end of the 3rd quarter that cut the Bishop’s lead to 8-7.  As the 4th quarter got underway, another El Toro breakaway looked like a score that would tie the game and certainly swing the momentum back to El Toro.  A great one-on-one block by Justin McCain saved the day and seemed to take a lot of wind out of the sails of El Toro.  Shortly thereafter, Danny Kimmich nailed his second critical goal of the game and put the game on ice.  Each team scored a final goal in the last minute and the final score was 10-8.

The championship game against La Canada was anti-climatic after the exciting El Toro contest.  Scoring from Julian Arthur (4), Brian Hodgens (3), Luke Groesbeck (2) and Reid Joseph (2) led the way to a 14-4 victory.  With less than a minute left to play, the Knights called a timeout. Reid Joseph went into goal, Justin McCain donned cap #16 and the play was set.  The pass went to #16 and Justin’s shot barred out.  He got one more chance and sent a lob shot to the upper right corner… out!   Oh so close. 

This was a great tournament for the Knights. It was lots of scoring and a stifling defense.  An El Toro parent was talking to me about the game later in the day.  His son told him that whenever Bishop’s sub’d, there was no drop off in the level of play. That seems to be the Knight’s trademark this year; tremendous depth.  They are ready to start league play next Tuesday, October 2, at University High School.