Water jumped from the pool Wednesday at Miami-Dade North Aquatic Center as eight teams sliced through blue waves eying GMAC water polo championships. Jorge Rizo scored five goals in the second quarter of Columbus’ 18-4 route of Miami Beach for the boys’ title. Krop edged MAST 11-10 behind Alana Mantel’s 13 saves for the girls’ crown.
“I wasn’t really expecting to come out that strong but everything was falling through and I was getting good passes,” said Rizo, who scored seven times. “It was a well-rounded effort for everybody. I think we are really solid, if we play team ball and go out there and execute, I think we have a good chance for states this year.”
Columbus (18-6) broke loose to lead 6-1 after the first quarter before Rizo’s rage. The Explorers beat Krop 10-6 and Miami Beach beat Terra 10-9 in semifinal games. Krop edged Coral Gables 15-8 and MAST beat Terra 12-8 in the girls’ semifinal games.
“These boys have been playing for two years straight,” Columbus coach Christopher Arias said “They have been playing with chemistry. They came out to play.”
Steven Dawson had 10 saves for Columbus.
Krop (16-6), who is undefeated in Miami-Dade county play, led 4-2 in the first quarter before MAST mustered a comeback.
The Makos outscored the Lightning 4-3 and 3-2 in the second and third quarters to tie the game at 9-9 behind Shea Baldino’s three goals. But Jade Lubie had seven goals and Sydne Vigille had three goals in the slim win.
“They are always a good team to play,” Krop coach Gayle Steiner said. “They are well coached, fast and it was good to play them. They made us work hard.”