LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — With the help of a freshman, the Flintridge Prep boys' water polo team turned a close match into a rout.
Diego Delgado, a freshman driver, finished with a match-high eight goals, including four in the second half, to spark host Flintridge Prep to a 13-5 nonleague victory against Arcadia on Wednesday afternoon.
Flintridge Prep (8-5) scored the last seven goals of the match after Arcadia (2-2) closed to within 6-5 a minute into the second half.
"We had to keep chipping away when it was still close," Flintridge Prep second-year Coach Daniel Hare said. "We outscored them, 7-1, in the second half and we did that by working hard.
"We have improved our game sense and conditioning. When you look at our scores, we've done well when we've come right out of the gate.
"Also, you have a guy like Diego, who is explosive and has an incredible sense of the game."
Delgado scored to give the Rebels a 7-5 lead with 4:21 left in the third quarter. Flintridge Prep then countered with one goal apiece from Kellan Rohde and Carlo Sivilotti in the final minute of the third quarter to extend its lead to 9-5.
Delgado added three more goals in a five-minute stretch in the fourth quarter.
"I was a little scared at first [playing at the varsity level]," said Delgado, who also plays for the Rose Bowl Water Polo Club. "It's not a big difference from playing club."
Delgado gave Flintridge Prep a 6-4 halftime lead when he fired a shot in the upper right corner of the cage as time expired.
"Truthfully, I just saw the clock and shot it," Delgado said. "I knew I at least had a chance to score."
Delgado scored the first two goals of the match 31 seconds apart in the first quarter. He tallied on a point-blank shot to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead with 6:16 remaining before scoring on a scoop shot at the 5:45 mark.
"He creates a lot of offensive opportunities," Hare said. "He's like a motor that's always running."
The Apaches then scored 90 seconds apart to knot the game at 2 on goals by Kevin Fry and Steven Heer. Flintridge Prep responded when Delgado scored with 1:14 left in the first quarter, when he grabbed a rebound following a shot off the post. Ethan Vandeventer of Flintridge Prep closed out the scoring in the first quarter as time expired.
Vandeventer finished with a pair of goals for the Rebels, who got one from Alex Blaine.
Flintridge Prep goalkeeper Brian Khin finished with five saves, including three in the second half.
Arcadia received one goal each from Connor Bodenshot, Anthony Kuo and Clifford Ly.