Pool Trick

Palisades’ Oliver Grant (right) shoots over an El Segundo defender in Saturday’s third place game at the Conejo Classic in Thousand Oaks. The Dolphins won 12-9 to finish the tournament 3-1. Photo: Steve Galluzzo

Pali High Boys Water Polo Makes Big Splash at Conejo Classic

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

Winning the last game of the Conejo Classic was nice, but for the Palisades High boys water polo team that meant finishing third not first, and the Dolphins are used to being No. 1.

“I don’t think that we’ve ever done better than third here, but this is a tournament we could’ve and should’ve won,” Pali High assistant coach Kirk Lazaruk said after the Dolphins’ 12-9 victory over El Segundo on Saturday afternoon. “We’ve got so many young guys without a lot of experience but we still have a strong team and we’re only going to get better. I wouldn’t want to play us.”    

Palisades seemed a lock for the final when it built an 8-5 lead going to the fourth quarter of its semifinal game Saturday morning against host Thousand Oaks, but the Lancers rallied to win in sudden death overtime, then beat Ventura for the championship before Palisades took the pool to play El Segundo. The Dolphins opened  the tournament beating Foothill Tech and Buena on Friday.

“It’s a bit unfortunate that we had the lead against T.O. and let their  coach and fans get in our heads,” Maximo Speiser said. “Considering it’s our first tournament and we were missing Eli [Sussman] we did pretty well. We have a lot of talent we just have to put it all together.”