M. Water Polo: Conference finals ends in 12-7 loss to rival

Dylan Sun (playing defense) also scored three times for the Falcons
Dylan Sun (playing defense) also scored three times for the Falcons

Taking on rival Long Beach City College for the second time in 10 days, the Cerritos College men's water polo was looking for their second win. On Saturday, the two teams squared off against each other in the championship match of the South Coast Conference Tournament. After a 7-6 win in their first meeting, the Falcons dropped a 12-7 decision. The team will now wait to hear where they are seeded for the Southern California Regional Playoffs, which will take place at the Falcon Aquatic Center next Thursday through Saturday.

Cerritos vs. Mt. San Antonio: After receiving a bye in the quarterfinals, the Falcons took on another nemesis in the Mounties in a semifinal match. It was a tight defensive battle that saw both goalies make big saves, before Cerritos came out on top, 5-4. The Falcons opened up a 2-0 first period lead on goals by freshman Kevin Elizarraraz (Buena Park HS) and sophomore Arturo Ortuno (Universidad la Salle, Mexico). It was a tie match after the Mounties scored the next two goals, while Cerritos took a 3-2 lead into intermission after Elizarraraz scored with 2:33 left in the first half. Freshman goalkeeper Zachary Jenkins (La Serna HS) turned away the Mounties on multiple occasions and finished with 13 saves in the win. In the third period, Elizarraraz and sophomore Dylan Sun (Cerritos HS) scored to increase the lead to 5-4 before Mt. SAC would shut out the Falcons in the fourth period and scored the only two goals to finish up the scoring. Freshman Rodrigo Baca (Kennedy HS) led a 11-steal effort by the Falcons with a team-high four in the match. An aggressive Jenkins also posted a pair of steals, with Elizarraraz leading the offense with three goals.

Cerritos vs. Long Beach City: The Falcons got on the board first on a goal from Baca, but saw the Vikings score the game's next four goals. It was another three-goal outburst that put Cerritos behind, 7-4 before freshman Nik Klimpfinger (Los Alamitos HS) and Sun scored two of the next three goals to draw the team to within 8-4. After Sun scored his second of three goals early in the fourth period to draw to within 9-5, that would be as close as the team would get to the Vikings. Five different players scored for the Falcons, with Ortuno leading the team with four steals. It was a very physical game that saw 24 exclusions called, which is typical of a heated battle with these two teams. Jenkins made eight stops in the team's loss.

Photos by Daryl Peterson