Boys Water Polo: Lockport stays in control vs. Sandburg
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media April 29, 2013 7:32PM
Updated: June 1, 2013 6:43AM
The list of things Lockport’s boys water polo program never has done is getting smaller.
Last season, the Porters made it to state for the first time. Monday, Lockport won in Sandburg’s pool for the first time and moved to within one victory of its first conference title.
Dan Oldendorf poured in five goals and the Porters’ defense was huge in the fourth quarter as Lockport held on for a 10-8 win over the Eagles in the SouthWest Suburban Blue.
“It’s been a thorn in my side coming to this place every year,” Lockport coach Joe Lewandowski said. “Sandburg is a tough team, and it’s a tough pool to win it. I’m just so happy for my boys.”
Lockport (24-4, 10-2) can clinch at least a share of the Blue crown Friday with a win over Lincoln-Way Central. Sandburg (21-6, 9-2) needs wins over Central and Homewood-Flossmoor — which is also 9-2 in conference — to assure a share.
“Going to state again would be a great thing, but a conference title has never been done before,” Lockport’s Jake Knowles said. “That’s pretty cool, too.”
Knowles (2 goals) had a huge goal early in the fourth quarter, capping a 3-0 Porters run with a backhanded shot that beat Sean McNicholas (12 saves) to make it 10-6 with 6:22 left.
Oldendorf and Jake Speechley (2 goals) had scored late in the third to start the surge.
“I was just trying to get a shot on goal,” Knowles said. “I wasn’t really finding anything all game so I tried something different. It was a real momentum shift.”
Sandburg pulled to within 10-8 with 3:27 to go after goals from Tomas Serrano (4 goals) and Kevin Tunney (3 goals), but could get no closer.
The Porters forced two turnovers down the stretch, and John Goetz (10 saves) made a huge stop on a Zach Roper shot with 1:44 left.
“We just know that we have to shut teams down in the fourth quarter,” Goetz said. “That’s basically our motto.”
The game was tied at 4 at halftime and at 5 early in the third before the Porters took charge.
“Lockport earned the win, just like the first time we played them,” Sandburg coach Jim Caliendo said. “We still have a shot to tie for the conference. This team has to show me that it’s important to them to win this conference.”