Noah Hernandez snapped his arm like a snake striking its prey, scoring at the buzzer and piling on Cooper City in Pines Charter’s 13-9 win Tuesday in the District 12 boys’ water polo championship. The Jaguars swept both the boys and girls district finals under coach Luis Soler, with the girls team beating South Broward 9-3.
“It feels good,” said Hernandez, who scored twice in the win. “I was playing when we lost here last year. It feels great to finish this game up and do what I should have done last year and bring it home for the team. The boys haven’t gone to districts in three years.”
Hernandez’s goal capped off a comeback effort from the Jaguars, who trailed 7-5 at halftime. Blake Kelley and Alexander Viloria scored four goals each and the Jaguars scored four unanswered to take a 10-8 lead into the final frame.
“We kind of tried to get our mind right,” Hernandez said. “Blake Kelley, our captain, got our spirits up and told us we were a comeback team. That’s what we did.”
“When I’m playing it’s about team work,” said Marcela Gallardo, who scored five goals in the win. “It’s not my goal, it’s our goal. That’s what I’m happy about. I can’t score the goals by myself.”
The Jaguars, who beat Flanagan 12-2 in the semifinal, led South Broward 9-1 through three quarters. Victoria Haill and Jessica Cordero each had two scores in the win. Rebecca Gonzalez had 11 saves for the Jaguars.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Soler said. “I couldn’t have had a better captain [Gallardo] and leader for this team.”
The Jaguar’s boy’s team beat South Broward 16-3 to advance to the final, while Cooper City edged Flanagan 17-9. South Broward beat Cooper City 4-2 in the girls’ semifinal.
“I feed off of my team’s energy,” Gallardo said. “When I see we are all reacting well, doing what we are supposed to, and doing the drills we have been practicing year after year, it feels good. We’re very excited. At the beginning we barely had a game because we were worried about not having enough players. Now we see the improvement and dedication. Our coach’s example is what motivates us.”
TRACK AND FIELD
Inclement weather forced the District 15-3A championships at Archbishop McCarthy to be rescheduled to Thursday, pushing back Javon Patterson’s bid to lower his U.S. No. 5 mark of 1:52.04 in the 800 meters.
Archbishop McCarthy coach David DiNicola said prelims are slated to resume at 9 a.m. with 11 a.m. the projected start time for running finals.
Patterson, the latest in a long line of Boyd Anderson middle distance stars, is the star attraction in a loaded field that also includes teammates Phillip Lee and Chyna-Joi Staton, Pines Charter’s Andrew Iglesias and his heir apparent Carlos Penaranda, and Dillard sprinter Brandon Mosley.
Dillard’s first-year hurdler Asjah Wallace leads the Panthers' charge in the sprints.
•South Broward d. Miramar 25-7, 25-11, 25-11:
Adam Roberti 23 assists, kill, 9 points, 2 aces. Chris Tracy 7 kills, block. SB 12-6.
•Cardinal Gibbons d. St. Thomas Aquinas 11-25, 25-18, 14-25, 25-17, 15-12: CG:
Ryan Gunvaldsen 11 kills, 6 blocks. Jake Leventhal 43 assists, 2 kills, 9 digs, 2 aces, 6 service points, 4 blocks. STA: Stefano Rivera 38 assists, kill, dig, block, 10 points. Sean Davis 14 kills, dig, 5 blocks, 5 points, ace. Robert Carsello 10 kills, block, 4 points. Kyle Schroeder 3 kills, 3 digs, 6 blocks, 4 points. Nick Rusk 9 kills, 5 digs, 2 blocks, 5 points, ace.
•University School 20, Western 9:
University (14-3) advances to the district final.
•St. Thomas Aquinas 16, University School 0:
Chloe Mujwit 4 goals, 3 assists. Carley Adams 3 goals, 2 assists. Lauren Morando 3 goals, 2 assists. Will play district final on Thursday.
•Cardinal Gibbons 13, Douglas 12:
Catherine Haley 2 goals. Meghan Moran goal. Lia Alvarez goal. Katie Diamond 4 goals. Caroline Kemp 2 goals. Michelle Miggins 2 goals.
•Belen Jesuit 2, University School 0:
WP: Pablo Arevalo. LP: Fred Sultan. Top performers: Fred Sultan CG, 8k's, 3 hits, 1 ER. Evan McKendry 2-3, 2B. Arevalo CG, 9Ks, Christian delCastillo 1 for 3, 2B, RBI, run; David Guevara 1 for 3, RBI
•West Broward 3, Flanagan 1:
WP: Laiacona (8-3). LP: Degan. Top performers: WB: Mandy 2-3, HR, 2 RBI. Laiacona 2-3, 7 IP, 5 K's. FLA: Bush 2-3, run. WB 15-6.
BOYS’ WATER POLO
•Cooper City 17, Flanagan 9:
Danny Rafael 6 goals. Aiden Goldberg 4 goals. CC 13-4.