M. Water Polo: Three more tournament wins for the Falcons

File Photo: Falcons win three of four games at Riverside Tournament
File Photo: Falcons win three of four games at Riverside Tournament

In all three two-day tournaments the Cerritos College men's water polo team has played in this season, they were able to win three of the four games. The past weekend was no exception for the Falcons (13-4), who dropped their first game to Orange Coast College (15-5), but followed that win wins over Diablo Valley College (15-6), Rio Hondo College (13-9) and Grossmont College (12-8). The team will travel to Cal Lutheran University on Friday to take on the NCAA Division III school.

Cerritos vs. Orange Coast: The tournament started with the Falcons falling behind the Pirates, 6-1 after the first period and 11-2 at intermission. The offense could never get started and the team attempted just 20 shots, while they turned the ball over 19 times. Freshman Colson Morrow (Long Beach Millikan HS) scored two of the Falcons goals, with sophomore Arturo Ortuno (Universidad la Salle, Mexico) accounting for five of the team's 12 steals.

Cerritos vs. Diablo Valley: Looking to rebound later in the day, the Falcons turned on the offense in the second half, as they outscored the Vikings, 7-3. It was a tight 4-2 game after the first period, with Ortuno scoring the final two goals in the period. Cerritos opened the second period by scoring the first two goals to open up a 6-2 advantage. It was an 8-3 game at halftime when sophomore Raul Muniz (Colbach, Mexico) and Ortuno each scored in the final two minutes. Jumping out to a quick second half start, the Falcons received goals from freshman Kevin Elizarraraz (Buena Park HS), Muniz and Ortuno to put the game out of reach. Ortuno and Elizarraraz each finished with four goals, while Ortuno also added six steals. Muniz posted three goals, with four other players scoring once. Freshman goalkeeper Zachary Jenkins (La Serna HS) was active in the net, as he accounted for five steals along with his four saves.

Cerritos vs. Rio Hondo: Taking on South Coast Conference opponent Roadrunners for the second time this season, the Falcons matched the same final score from their September 26 game. It was a game of two separate halves, as Cerritos opened up a commanding 11-3 lead at intermission, only to see Rio Hondo score the final three goals in each of the final two periods to close to within four goals. Muniz scored three times in the first period and twice more in the second to help the team pull out to their lead. Elizarraraz scored twice within :32 seconds in the second period to help the Falcons take a 7-3 lead on their way to accounting for the final six goals in the period. Muniz ended the game with five goals, with Ortuno, Elizarraraz and freshman Rodrigo Baca (Kennedy HS) each posting a pair of goals. Sophomore Dylan Sun (Cerritos HS) finished with four steals, with Ortuno and freshman Billy Catton (La Quinta HS) both adding three thefts, with freshman Nik Klimpfinger (Los Alamitos HS) recording a trio of assists. All three goalies saw action and combined for 10 saves.

Cerritos vs. Grossmont: After a slow offensive start in the first half, the two teams were able to find the back of the net in the second half and accounted for 15 of the game's 20 goals. Playing one of their better games of the season, the possible post-season match-up saw Jenkins turn in a season-best 12 saves, while the offense came alive in the second half. Clinging to a 3-2 halftime lead, Baca, Ortuno and Muniz each scored to start the third period and help the Falcons open a 6-2 advantage. After the Griffins (12-2) closed to within 8-6 early in the fourth period, Muniz and Ortuno gave the team a little more breathing room, with Muniz and Elizarraraz closing out the scoring to secure the victory. Muniz and Ortuno each scored four times, with Elizarraraz assisting on five of the team's goals, while also scoring twice. As a team, Cerritos had 15 steals, with Baca leading the way with four.