ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Greyhounds boys varsity water polo team has won four of their last five games, their lone loss coming to the seventh-ranked team in Division 1 in Arroyo Grande, and have climbed to ninth in the Division 2 CIF Central Section rankings according to Maxpreps.com.
On the Weekend of Sept. 29, the Hounds played in the Arroyo Grande varsity boys tournament and went 2-2, winning both of their games on Saturday.
“We lost the games that we should have lost on paper,” Atascadero head coach Jon Conrad said. “Our second loss wasn’t as bad as the first one. We were playing the No. 2 ranked team in Division 1 in Clovis North, College Park a team from Northern California, a strong team, to only lose to them 8-3 is not a bad loss for us... The top team in that bracket [Day 2] was Porterville, who was the No. 10 ranked team in Division 1, and we beat them soundly which was really good for us to have a solid win in a big pool. Overall, great weekend for us.”
After the weekend the Hounds hosted Nipomo on Wednesday and traveled to Pioneer Valley on Thursday to pick up two more wins, which improved their record to 11-9. Nipomo gave Atascadero a little trouble early in the fourth quarter, after jumping out to early 5-1 and then 7-2 leads, the Titans began chipping away at the Hounds.
“They at times had some mental lapses on defense. We need to learn to not get too comfortable with a lead,” Conrad said following the game. “We have to kind of always be on edge and credit to Nipomo they put away shots they were supposed to, they have some solid shooters on their squad and they capitalized on our mistakes.”
Nipomo got within two goals at the start of the fourth quarter, 8-6, when Conrad hollered at his team that it was, “Up to them if they wanted to play.” Immediately Atascadero responded with three consecutive goals, the first by Colby VanHousen, the second by Kaeden Russell and the third from the right arm of Wyatt Marshall, who finished as the high scorer on the afternoon with five total goals. Atascadero won the game 12-7.
On Tuesday, the Greyhounds hosted Arroyo Grande the No. 7 team in Division I and a perennial thorn in Atascadero’s side and pushed them to the very edge. The Hounds entered the fourth quarter up 8-4 and were only 8 minutes away from a big victory. The Eagles scored four unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to force overtime and then scored two more goals in the first half of extra time to win the game 11-10.
The road does not get much easier for the Hounds who currently sit as the No. 9 ranked team in Division 2 according to Maxpreps.com. Atascadero plays San Luis Obispo and Righetti to finish the season and each
Atascadero is currently 11-10 on the season and 2-4 in the Mountain League.