GMAC Water polo

Mourning girls, Columbus boys win tourney

 

a1fernandez@MiamiHerald.com

A newcomer enjoyed its first coronation, and a regular contender found its way back to the top spot Wednesday afternoon at the GMAC water polo championships at MAST Academy.

Alonzo and Tracy Mourning’s girls joined the GMAC championship fraternity by winning their first county crown in any sport with a 7-4 win over host MAST.

And on the boys’ side, Columbus collected another championship for its trophy case, defeating Dr. Krop 13-9 in a hard-fought championship match.

Mourning, a three-year program, won its first-ever title with a tough collective effort led by junior goalkeeper Chantal Tepper’s 21 combined saves in the final victory and an earlier 12-5 win over Terra in the semifinals.

Sophomore Marianna Lombello led the Sharks with three goals against MAST as they pulled ahead to a 7-2 lead in the fourth quarter and then hung on for the win.

Senior Kristin Jackson had four goals against Terra and junior Andrea Rancaño had five. Senior Betty Poller also had solid games against both opponents.

“We have a lot of young players that play only high school ball, but they’ve taken a lot of time to get the feel for this game,” Mourning coach Luis Comulada said. “This win shows how well the program is coming along and it has a lot to do with our emphasis on swimming and conditioning.”

Columbus rallied from an early three-goal deficit to beat the Lightning.

The Explorers (14-9) were led by Jorge Rizo, who finished with four goals, including a pair early in the third quarter to give Columbus the lead for good. Ryan Dawson had three goals and Nick Anderson added two.

Goalkeeper Steven Dawson had 10 saves against Krop and 10 saves in the team’s 14-7 semifinal win over Hialeah. In that game, Rizo and Anderson each had four goals and Julian Gonzalez had two.

Columbus also won GMAC titles from 2007 to 2010.

“We weren’t playing quite our style early on, but with a team effort we turned it around in the second half,” Columbus coach Chris Arias said.

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