Bakersfield Christian wins
Ever since their first victory to open league play, opponents of the Taft varsity boys water polo team have had their way with the Wildcats. While that string of losses continued on a cool fall day in Taft Tuesday, the gap closed with Taft falling to the Bakersfield Christian Eagles 17-8.
“I really think we had some great plays,” said Taft coach John Usrey. “I think this is a team we can win if we have a strong defense and not throw the ball away.”
With the loss, Taft falls to 1-3 in the East Sequoia League.
Bakersfield Christian held the early edge by scoring a goal 1:31 into the seven minute quarter before doubling their lead 19 seconds later. After the Eagles went up 3-0, Taft finally broke through on Ryan Hickernell’s goal from close range at the 3:52 mark of the quarter.
However, the Eagles added two more goals with one coming in the waning seconds of the first quarter.
Bakersfield Christian struck again 15 seconds into the second quarter. Following another Eagles goal, the Wildcats doubled their point total at the 5:19 mark when Sam Barne’s goal barely went into the goal.
Both teams would score a pair of goals the rest of the half. Bakersfield Christian would get theirs at the 5:05 and the 3:28 mark. Meanwhile, Jack Layton found Barnes for a goal with 4:35 to go while Layton scored the final Wildcat goal with 4:02 remaining
The Eagles pulled away in the third quarter when they scored a pair of goals in first 1:29 of the quarter. After Bakersfield Christian scored at the 4:53 mark, the Wildcats got their lone goal of the third quarter thanks to James Stith’s goal with 2:43 mark.
However, the Eagles scored two more goals to go up 14-5 heading into the fourth quarter.
Taft added to their lead 12 seconds into the fourth quarter with Barnes’ penalty shot for a goal. After Bakersfield Christian found the upper part of the net for a goal, Barnes had a chance to get into a back and forth battle but his shot was blocked by the Eagles’ goalie.
The Eagles struck again before Taft scored the next two goals thanks to Barnes and Hickernell, which came on a penalty shot.
Bakersfield Christian wrapped up the scoring with a goal with 1:04 to go.