First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
The Burroughs High School varsity boys’ water polo team dominated Pasadena, 22-9, on Tuesday to clinch fifth place in the Pacific League.
Xavier Turla scored a team-high nine goals in the blowout victory, helping the Bears end their season on a high note.
“[Xavier] is the best player on our team. He’s been playing for a long time, very passionate about the game,” said Jacob Cook, Burroughs’ head coach. “He takes over during the game and he always does really well, so it wasn’t a surprise to see that performance.”
The match was essentially decided in the first quarter when Justin Cloutier scored Burroughs’ 10th goal, more than Pasadena could muster in the entire game.
The Bears outscored Pasadena 11-4 in the first half, led by Xavier Turla and Joseph Bez, who scored six and two goals, respectively. Kristian Solano and Logan Turla also added one goal each in the first half.
The second half was similar to the first in that Burroughs outscored Pasadena 11-5. However, this time the Bears displayed their offensive versatility.
Ian Duffield and Xavier Turla each scored three goals, while Solano, Cloutier, Logan Turla, Eddie Leverett and Luca Schaefer each added one.
Defensively, Schaefer had five saves before switching to offense and letting Ethan Mchorney (one save) take over the net.
“We tried to do a balanced approach,” Cook said. “We had the seniors … play the first quarter and then we had a more freshmen-focused approach, focusing on the future of our program. Then we ended it with the seniors for the fourth quarter. We tried to get everyone playing for the last game of the season.”
The Bears finished fifth in league play with a 3-5 record (13-14 overall).