Boys Water Polo: Homewood-Flossmoor tops Lockport
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media May 11, 2013 4:50PM
Lockport goalie John Goetz goes up for a block against Homewood-Flossmoor during the boys water polo sectional championship game at Lincoln-Way North in Frankfort Square Saturday, May 11, 2013. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 13, 2013 7:24PM
The game should have been over, but Homewood-Flossmoor’s mental gaffe in the closing seconds Saturday just gave Vikings goalie Jakobi McClellan one more chance to shine.
McClellan capped a brilliant performance by stopping Dan Oldendorf’s shot at the buzzer to seal H-F’s 9-8 overtime win over Lockport in a thrilling Lincoln-Way North Sectional championship.
The Vikings (20-12) were running the clock out, but dumped it into the Lockport zone a bit too soon with four seconds left.
Goalie John Goetz (10 saves) got the ball and passed across the pool to Oldendorf, who got a good look. McClellan smothered the shot with two hands and his chest for his 16th save of the game.
“As soon as the ball was dumped, I looked at the clock and said ‘Oh no,’ ” McClellan said. “My instincts kicked in and I just said. ‘There’s no way this is going in.’
“After all the work I’ve put in the last few years, I think this was the greatest game I’ve ever played.”
Lockport (28-5), led by Oldendorf’s three goals, had more balance Saturday, but H-F’s 1-2 punch of McClellan and Kevin Kuchta (7 goals) proved too much to handle.
“We had it, but it slipped through our hands,” Lockport coach Joe Lewandowski said. “Kuchta was great and (McClellan) was on fire.”
The Vikings will meet nine-time state champion Fenwick (28-5) in a state quarterfinal set for 5:45 p.m. Friday at Stevenson High School.
In the rubber match between teams that split two regular-season contests — and a rematch of Lockport’s sectional championship win a year ago — the Porters led 6-4 after three quarters.
Kuchta, held in check early, got going late. He scored back-to-back goals, the latter with 2:18 left to tie the game at 6.
Broc Thompson’s goal with 1:32 left gave H-F its first lead since 1-0, but Jake Elias (2 goals) answered to force overtime.
With 1:19 left in overtime and the Vikings up 8-7, Caldwell called a timeout to set up a play for Kuchta, who got open and scored his second goal of overtime for a 9-7 lead with 1:13 to go.
Oldendorf scored with a minute left, but it wasn’t enough.
“There was a point in the third quarter where it clicked in my head that I needed to get my guys going,” Kuchta said. “To get back to state after coming so close the last two years, it’s amazing.”