By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School’s boys water polo team had a 10-5 lead in the Bulldogs’ Sept. 25 match at Steele Canyon before settling for a 10-9 victory.
“It ended up being close at the end,” said Coach Donnie Williams. “Our guys kind of let down a little too much.”
The Bulldogs led 3-2 after the first period and 6-4 at halftime. Ramona’s 7-5 lead turned into a 10-5 lead with 3:43 remaining in the fourth quarter before the Cougars began their comeback.
After a Steele Canyon power play goal created a 10-8 score, Williams called time out. The fourth quarter had 48 seconds remaining, and Williams told his players to use up as much of the 30-second shot clock as possible.
Although the Bulldogs didn’t score and the Cougars subsequently narrowed their deficit to one goal, Ramona was able to run out the clock on the next possession.
“The exuberance sometimes gets the better of the boys,” Williams said. “They’re a young team.”
Despite allowing the nine goals, Ramona goalie Isaac Gross made 14 saves. The Cougars scored on four of their eight man-up opportunities.
Matteo Franchello led Ramona with five goals and with three assists. Jesse Reiling placed two balls into the net while Thomas Abbott, Cory Davison, and Garrett Klem each scored once. Abbott, Levi Vermeulen, and Ryan Hall each had one assist.
The win improved Ramona’s season record to 8-4. The Bulldogs host Rancho Bernardo in a non-league game on Friday.