ATASCADERO — The Atascadero and Paso Robles water polo teams met for the second time this season and the outcomes were largely the same. This time the games were held in Atascadero and again the Greyhound boys and the Bearcat girls won handily. The Atascadero boys defeated Paso Robles 13-4 while the Paso Robles girls beat Atascadero 15-5.
Both games played out similarly with one team jumping out to a big early lead before emptying their benches and getting everyone on the team in the pool in a big-time rivalry game.
The Bearcat girls were up 4-0 at the end of the first quarter thanks to two goals from Audrey Pasky and one each from Tatiana Smeltzer and Mackenzie Raymond and they stretched the lead to 9-1 at halftime. Atascadero’s lone first-half goal coming off the arm of Makayla Power.
Smeltzer led the evening in scoring, sneaking seven balls past Greyhounds goalie Maddie Howell.
The Bearcat boys were able to score two goals in the first quarter after going down 3-0 but could not score again until the tail end of the third quarter at which point the score was already 9-3.
Wyatt Marshall scored four goals for the Hounds in the first quarter and ended his day with five while Owen
The Atascadero boys and Paso Robles girls water polo teams find themselves in similar spots this season. Both teams are ranked eighth in their respective divisions in the Central Section — Paso Robles in Division 1 and Atascadero in Division 2 — and both teams have built up tons of confidence as the season has progressed.
“We have only been beaten by top 10 teams,” Bearcats head coach Grant East said, “and Porterville who is a Division 2 team that should win it all pretty easily, unless they are in the top 10 of Division 1, we’re not too worried.”
Four of the Bearcats’ seven losses have come to schools ranked ahead of them in Division 1. Paso Robles has dropped two games to No. 6 Clovis East, one game No. 5 Clovis and one game to No. 2 Arroyo Grande. The Bearcats are currently the highest scoring team in the top 10 by a wide margin. So far this season Paso Robles has scored 266 goals, the next closest team is No. 7 Hanford at only 207.
Similarly, the Hounds are not afraid of anyone ranked lower than them in Division 2.
“We are top 10 in our division, which is good, we just beat the No. 2 team in the division last Friday [El Diamante], we beat them 5-3,” Atascadero head coach Jon Conrad said. “And so things are looking good for us.”
The Hounds have split two games against El Diamante who is currently ranked No. 3 in the division and have also dropped a game to the No. 2 ranked team in Tulare Union and the No. 4 ranked team in Morro Bay.
Both teams will know more about themselves after this weekend's tournament in Arroyo Grande that will bring in many of the best teams in the Central Section to the Central Coast.