EL DORADO — Third time was not the charm for the El Dorado High boys water polo team, which fell to Kennedy 8-5 in the battle of Cougars at the Aquatic Center Thursday.
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After Kennedy scored its first goal, El Dorado (5-3, 5-4) tied the game when Melissa Heller fired the ball in from 5 meters with 3:06 left in the first quarter. The visiting Cougars regained the lead with another goal with 1:07 left for a 2-1 advantage.
Nathaniel Camello scored a goal for El Dorado with 6:16 left in the second quarter for a 2-all tie. Kennedy’s third goal with 4:45 left gave it a 3-2 lead and it never trailed although Cougar Cameron Miller scored to cut Kennedy’s lead to 4-3 at halftime.
“We were outhustled,” El Dorado head coach David Pimentel said. “I think we may have underestimated them.”
El Dorado had defeated Kennedy, 17-2, and 17-1, earlier this month in Metro Conference games.
In the third quarter, Kennedy tacked on three more goals for a 7-3 lead. El Dorado’s last two goals by Nico Camello were in the fourth quarter at the 6:41 and 1:53 marks.
Nico had seven steals and Nathaniel six for El Dorado. Joshua Wienholz had four.
El Dorado recorded five assists. The Camelloes each had an assist along with Christopher Sota, Wienholz and Dylan Thompson.
Pimentel was pleased with improvement of his squad throughout a season that saw the team fall just shy of a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth. The Metro Conference sends only two teams into the playoffs.
“We’ve progressed a lot,” Pimentel said. “They are progressing as the season went on.”
Kieran Taylor, and Darin Caldwell are El Dorado’s two seniors who were honored at the game. Collages of photos of each player were posted at the game.
Heller and Kylie Hammond played for El Dorado boys’ squad because Kennedy fields only a co-ed water polo team.
El Dorado closes out its season with games at McClatchy on Tuesday and River City on Thursday.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.