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The Long Beach Poly boys water polo team sent a message to the rest of the CIF-SS Division 4 field on Wednesday as they defeated No. 7 Marina, 16-11.
Reece Hammond led the way for the Jackrabbits with five goals as Poly got back on track after a loss to a tough Redondo Union team on Tuesday.
“We knew that Marina is a tough opponent and they’re in our division,” Hammond said. “This was a big win for us, and it keeps us where we need to be for CIF. We were pumped and ready after yesterday’s loss.”
With the win, Poly has defeated two teams ranked in the top 10 in the Division 4 polls in the last week — a good barometer for where the Jackrabbits are as a team early in the season.
“What was really exciting about today was that we’ve been working on playing more as a team,” Poly coach Ishmael Pluton said. “We’ve got a bunch of talented kids and we’ve working them to get a more team offensive output and in this game it was really working and we were really starting to string things together.”
With solid defensive play, the Jackrabbits took an impressive 5-0 lead out of the gate and that onslaught was too much for the Vikings to overcome.
The Jackrabbits extended the lead to 7-0 early in the second quarter and that’s when the Vikings started to chip away at Poly’s lead in large part to the Vikings’ Vincent Labonte.
With Labonte in the middle, the Vikings had a solid force in the middle that they relied on in the second half after trailing 7-3 at halftime.
Labonte finished with a game-high eight goals, but it wasn’t enough as Poly’s offense kept the Jackrabbits in front from wire-to-wire.
The Jackrabbits will be back in action when they take on Peninsula on Tuesday.