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.”
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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.”