BURBANK HIGH — As stingy as the Crescenta Valley High boys' water polo team has been on defense this season, an early lead is sometimes all the Falcons need to put a match away.
When they begin a match by scoring eight unanswered goals, as they did against Burbank in the opening round of the Pacific League Tournament at Burbank on Tuesday, it's all but in the books by the first quarter.
Crescenta Valley, the defending league champion, got out to a large first-half lead and held on to defeat Burbank, 16-7.
"They wanted to come into this game focused," Crescenta Valley Coach Jan Sakonju said of his team — ranked No. 1 in CIF Southern Section Division V — which was paced by five goals from Jack Snyder. "We've been talking a lot about getting ready for Thursday's [championship]. These guys have been here so many times, they know the intensity level and know what they have to bring for this game."
Goals by Andrew De Jong, Louis Wojciechowski and Snyder inside the first minute and a half set the tone for a dominant first quarter, which saw the Falcons (20-4, 7-0 in league) go up, 8-0, after three more tallies from Snyder and one apiece from Wojciechowski and Robby Ruzicka.
"They're definitely a quality team and last time we played them, I think it was 4-0 going into the second quarter, so we were kind of hoping to maybe generate a little bit more offense and try to maintain the defensive side," said Burbank Coach and Crescenta Valley graduate Carlos Pelayo, whose team is 3-4 in league. "They came out fired up, they came out ready to play and they played very well early on."
Daniel Gonzalez, Zach Card and Dion Costa had two goals each for Burbank.