Having seen a three-goal lead evaporate in the fourth quarter, and then with a little more than a minute away from seeing its season end, the Burroughs High boys water polo team turned to its gifted playmaker to shift gears in a hurry.
In stepped Xavier Turla to rescue Burroughs and keep its playoff drive alive.
Turla scored three goals in the closing moments of the second overtime to ignite host Burroughs to a hard-fought 13-11 win against Marina on Thursday in a CIF Southern Section Division V second-round match played in front of a boisterous crowd.
Turla finished with six goals for Burroughs (14-8), which will meet second-seeded St. Francis (29-3) in a quarterfinal match Saturday at a time and venue to be determined. St. Francis, which posted a 19-6 second-round win against Buena Park on Thursday, will be the home team.
Marina (14-14) took an 11-10 lead on a goal by Kolby Burke with 1:38 remaining in the second three-minute overtime session.
Then Turla tied it at 11 with 1:06 to go before scoring the winning goal with 39.7 seconds to play. He added an insurance goal with one second left to cap the impressive comeback.
“That was definitely a crazy game and both teams played well,” Turla said. "[Marina] came back in the fourth quarter and you find out that the overtime quarters are very stressful.
“We got down by a goal, but we were able to create some movement with the ball on offense and you had to stay focused. It’s like a miracle that we won.”
Marina, which took third in the competitive Sunset League, scored three goals in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter to tie it at 9. Vincent Labonte scored with 1:21 left in regulation to cap the rally.
The Vikings had a chance to win it in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter, but Burroughs goalkeeper David Karagezyan (12 saves) stopped a shot by Sam Capifoni as time expired.
“There was so much going on there toward the end of the fourth quarter,” said Burroughs coach Jacob Cook, whose team took fourth in the Pacific League before beginning the playoffs Tuesday with a 16-11 road win against Valley View. “The energy on the pool deck was amazing and we needed a way to regroup. Xavier went out there in that second overtime and killed it.”
Marina’s Ryan Welsch scored the only goal in the first three-minute session with 1:17 to go.
“I liked the way we kept our composure in the fourth quarter and come back to tie it up,” said Marina coach Brian Baier, whose team registered a 12-6 first-round victory against Estancia. “We had an opportunity to win it late in the fourth quarter and we got off a great shot.
“Both teams had opportunities and both teams made mistakes. It was a great game all around.”
Burroughs took a 9-6 lead on a goal by Tobey Ho with 4:23 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Indians led, 8-6, after the third quarter after building a 4-2 halftime advantage.
Burroughs received four goals from Vahagan Sahakyan, two from Ryan Jaramillo and one from Ho.
Matina got six goals from Labonte, two each from Capifoni and Burke and one from Welsch and 12 saves from goalkeeper Tanner Powell.