Monday, November 7, 2011

Final 2011 Boys High School Water Polo Rankings

  1. Bellevue
  2. Newport
  3. Curtis
  4. Auburn Mountainview
  5. Roosevelt
  6. Rogers
  7. Bainbridge
  8. Wilson
  9. Puyallup
  10. Enumclaw

At the start of the State tournament, no one would have been surprised to see Bellevue and Newport in the final game to determine the State Champion.  Both teams had proved themselves worthy during the regular season and from the very start of the tournament both teams looked to be just a bit better than the rest of the competition.  Newport  breezed through their bracket with wins over Emerald Ridge and Puyallup and then put on an impressive defensive display against Rogers in the quarterfinals.  In the semis, those in attendance learned a couple of things.  First, Auburn Mountainview is a very good team and maybe Newport wasn't unbeatable.  Bellevue also breezed through bracket play with wins over Wilson and Auburn Riverview but their path to the finals would pit them against Roosevelt and Curtis.  Both games proved to be competitive games but Bellevue seemed to have momentum and the ability to find consistency and finish strong in the 4th quarter.  Traits of a champion include depth, balance, team defense, and the ability of leaders to step up in the big game.  In the championship game,  the Wolverines delivered it all.  Like a champion, they found a way to limit the offensive weapons of their opponent, while exerting their own strength as the Wolverines pulled away in the second half.  A championship is not just about the final game.  It is a body of work that starts with an objective and a team commitment.  It includes  a seasons worth or more of preparation, conditioning, frustration, setbacks, adjustments, and the ability of every player to put team first over the individual.  Congratulations Bellevue for winning the championship and ending the season ranked No. 1.  For Newport, a great season that had everything but the sweet finish they desired.  The pressure of staying unbeaten is enormous and the burden of the target on your back was heavy.  Thanks for a season worth of highlights and the Committee has a strong feeling that you will be contending for the title next year. However, this season you finish No. 2Curtis is a program that knows about what it takes yo be a champion but the road through the tournament was not an easy one.  Curtis was on track with an exciting 1 point victory over Roosevelt in bracket play but eventually would meet up with Bellevue in the semifinals.  In a great north vs. south showdown, Curtis fought hard but it was not to be this year.  A consolation win over Auburn Mountainview earned the Vikings third in state and No. 3 in the final rankings.  Anyway you look at it. Auburn Mountainview had a great season and a great tournament.  An upset win over Rogers in bracket play really cleared a great path to the semis and in retrospect it doesn't seem like an upset anymore.  The semifinals pitted the Lions against Newport, and Auburn Mountainview showed everyone that they belong with the elite teams in state.  The Lions became one of the great stories of this years tournament and their school spirit was infectious.  A loss to Curtis in the consolation game doesn't dampen their accomplishments this season.  Congratulation for finishing fourth in state and moving up to the No. 4 spot in the rankings.  Roosevelt provided some of the closest games of the tournament and contined to show that they have the ability to play and beat anyone.  The one problem they have struggled with is closing out games in the fourth quarter.  A loss to Curtis 1-point in their bracket sent the Roughriders up against Bellevue in the quarterfinals, but Bellevue was able to close out the game out in the final quarter in a game that was probably Bellevue's most competitive test of the tournament.   Roosevelt did close out the final quarter against Rogers with a last minute goal to finish fifth in state and No. 5 in the final rankings.  Rogers came into the tournament as one of the top seeds, but a loss to Auburn Mountainview disrupted what appeared to be a favorable path to the semis.  The loss put them up against Newport in the quarterfinals and the Rams just could not get their offense going against the Knights.  Rogers did defeat Puyallup for a chance to play for fifth, but a last minute goal by Roosevelt left Rogers in 6th place for the tournament and the Rams finish No. 6 in the final rankings. Well Bainbridge, what is the Committee going to do with you.  You missed a heck of a tournament and yes we think you deserved to be there, but sometimes these things just happen.  The Spartans had a great season but their fate in the rankings was out of their hands.  After reviewing everything and much consideration, the Committee ranks Bainbridge No. 7 to finish the season.   Okay Wilson,  you were another one of the teams that made some noise at the tournament.  The Committee was tough on you early in the season but we did note that you had the ability to make things difficult for your opponents.  I guess Auburn Riverside didn't get that note, and an impressive win to start the tournament advanced Wilson to the quarterfinals.  Things started out very well but the Rams were not able to sustain their strong start and eventually fell to Curtis.  We'll blame fatigue for your loss to Roosevelt, but we can give you credit for your win over Puyallup to secure a seventh place finish at State and your re-entry into the rankings at No. 8.  Hey Puyallup, it looks like your seeding was correct. The Vikings started the tournament with a win over Emerald Ridge but found the the rest of the way to be too difficult against the top teams.  Still, a very good season and maybe the start of good things to come.  Puyallup finishes the season at No. 9 in the rankings.   Between Auburn Riverside and Enumclaw, the Committee faced a difficult decision for the No. 10 spot.   A great season for the Ravens hit tough times during the last week of the season and the upset loss to Wilson dashed their dreams of a higher finish.  Enumclaw was placed in an extremely difficult bracket and took their lumps on Thursday against Curtis and Roosevelt.   Based on their match-up to close the regular season, Enumclaw is awarded the No. 10 spot to close the 2011 high school season.  Congratulations to all the teams for a great season. 

The intention of this blog is simply to help create more awareness of high school water polo in Washington.  These rankings are unofficial and are in no way intended to diminish the accomplishments of any team.  I encourage every team to celebrate their season  and accomplishments in their respective divisions and state tournament. Hopefully any bias has been minimal and has been balanced by my ignorance. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saturday's Results

Bellevue wins the 2011 Washington State Boys High School Water Polo Championship!

Semi -Finals

Newport 10     Auburn Mountainview 8

Bellevue 12     Curtis 7


7th  - 8th       Puyallup  9   Wilson 16

5th - 6th        Rogers 8   Roosevelt 9

3rd - 4th       Curtis  9  Auburn Mountainview 7

Championship:  Newport 8   Bellevue 15

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday's Results

Game 13     Newport 9 vs. Rogers 3 

Game 14     Auburn Mountainview 8    Puyallup 5

Game 15     Bellevue 10    Roosevelt 7            

Game 16     Curtis 16    Wilson 11

Game 17     Rogers 14    Puyallup 6
Game 18     Roosevelt 18   Wilson 7

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Results from Thursday's Bracket Play

Please send in scores!!!

Winning team is in Blue

Game 1:     Newport  17       Emerald Ridge  2    

Game 2:     Rogers 22          Peninsula 6

Game 3:     Puyallup  8        Emerald Ridge 6

Game 4:     Auburn Mountainview  15      Peninsula 11

Game 5:     Newport 13        Puyallup 3

Game 6:     Rogers 10           Auburn Mountainview 13

Game 7:     Bellevue  16      Wilson 7

Game 8:     Curtis  19      Enumclaw 2

Game 9:     Auburn Riverside  9      Wilson 11

Game 10:   Roosevelt 17         Enumclaw 8

Game 11:   Bellevue  13        Auburn Riverside 5

Game 12:   Curtis 12       Roosevelt 11

Wednesday, November 2, 2011



      A                                 B                                  C                          D
Newport                       Bellevue                         Curtis                  Rogers
Puyallup                     Auburn Riverside           Roosevelt            Auburn Mountainview
Emerald Ridge           Wilson                            Enumclaw           Peninsula

Are you ready for some playoff water polo?  The seedings are complete, the brackets are set, and the mayhem begins on Thursday.  This year, there are 12 teams in the tournament and the format follows somewhat of a traditional water polo tournament with bracket play on Thursday.  The objective is simple. If you want to advance to the quarterfinals, you need to finish in the top two of your bracket.  Usually that means you have to win at least one game in your bracket, but upsets could create ties within a bracket in which advancement to the next round will be decided by fewest goals allowed.  Day two will be the quarterfinals with cross bracket play matching bracket winners with #2 teams from other brackets.  Day 3 will be the semis and finals with other games determining finishes through 8th place.

This season has been the best year for parity in a long time and no team in the playoffs is unbeatable.  Anything can happen when you combine youth, energy, pressure, and water.  In most of the match-ups, an upset based on the seedings is not out of the question, though the Committee thinks the higher seed teams in each bracket should advance to Saturday's quarterfinals.  If you are looking for surprises, you might want to take a close look at bracket C which appears to be the toughest bracket of the four.  The league officials didn't do Curtis any favors as the top seed in the bracket.  Roosevelt is not your typical #6 seed and Enumclaw is not your typical #10.  Expect all the games in this bracket to be close.  Enumclaw finished the season strong and last year showed that they can pick up their level of play in the playoffs.  Roosevelt is a bit of an unknown.  Yes, they are ranked #3 in the poll and could very well win the bracket.  However, they have very little cross division experience and the playoff atmosphere at Rogers will be new to them.

From the Committee's perspective, the locations for bracket play might favor the South teams.  It's not about the travel but the playoff atmosphere.  The North teams in the past have played in front of smaller crowds during the season and the frenzied playoff environment of a Rogers or Lakes pool might be a bit of an adjustment.  The South teams will need to take advantage while they can because the  advantage might swing in favor of the North teams on day 2.  KCAC is an all deep venue  and a wider course than the South teams typically play in.  Trust me,  it will be a factor and the South teams that advance will need to be aware of it.

Playoff Handicapper

Title Favorites

NewportCan beat you on the inside or perimeter.  Somehow finds a way to keep winning.

Bellevue: Keeps getting stronger.  Brings offense with a strong defense.

Curtis:  Depth in their line-up, balanced attack, defense, and a history of big game experience.

Rogers:  Athletic.  Strong all around game and a nice road to the semis.

Legitimate Threats

Roosevelt: Has the tools to win.  Needs to maintain focus.

Auburn Mountainview:  Has the offense.  Needs to brings their "A" game defensively.

Outside Shots

Auburn Riverside:  Most improved, balanced and dangerous.  Tough draw will make it difficult.

Enumclaw:  All about the match ups.  Quickly improving but starts in a brutal bracket.

Puyallup:  The cardiac kids will find some way to make it exciting.

Maybe Next Year

Wilson: Looking to find consistency, but will make opponents work.

Peninsula:  Improving but not there yet.

Emerald Ridge:  Happy to be in the tournament, but life for the 12th seed won't be easy.

The objective of the tournament is to determine the champion, but this tournament is also about promoting and celebrating high school water polo in Washington.  For our water polo community, it is as much about the journey as it is about the destination.  Every team has their own unique story of challenges and accomplishments throughout the season and a loss, though disappointing, should not diminish their achievements.  All of the players and coaches deserve our recognition and respect.  Regardless of the outcomes, be sure to show your appreciation to all the athletes, coaches, referees, officials and volunteers that make this Championship tournament possible.  Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Championship Playoff Predictions

"I'm having troubling visions of unspeakable things below the water's surface"

Fortune Teller's 2011 Playoff Predictions

Mercer Island will not win the 2011 Championship

Friday's traffic on I-5 will be terrible

Someone will complain about the reffing

Many shots will go wide or high

Many coaches will yell loudly

There will be many fans in the stands that still don't understand water polo

Hana Teriyaki will be crowded (order to go)

Only 8 teams will advance to Friday's games

It will not be an all north final, unless it is

There will be an ejection in every game

The head coach of the champion team will be tossed in the pool (unless their players are too chicken)

The team that scores the most goals in the final game will be the Champion

(Add your predictions in the comment section, (but please keep it light and fun)