Dexter Water Polo Downs River Rats





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By: Seth Kinker, skinker@thesuntimesnews.com

For the second time in five days, the Dexter Dreadnaught Boys’ Water Polo team defeated the Ann Arbor Huron River Rats. They hosted the River Rats at home on Aug. 29, emerging with a 15-5 victory.

Both teams started off with offensive opportunities, on their first possessions both teams rocked the crossbar.



After winning on Saturday, 9-6 the Dreadnaughts knew they played well defensively, but that they missed some chances on offense. Their game plan is to build from the back. Focusing on playing team defense, taking away their opponents’ biggest threats, before looking to counter.

Coming into Wednesday’s contest the Dreadnaughts had been working on getting more of those offensive chances.

“The big thing we’ve been stressing in practice has been continually working and improving your position on offense to give yourself a better chance to score,” said Dreadnaught head coach Brian Semple. “We’ve got a lot of great shooters that can shoot from the outside, a ton if we need to, but I want guys to continue to work for more. We’ve got a couple guys who can get out on the counter, we were able to make those extra passes and find those opportunities.”

After the first quarter, the Dreadnaughts led 4-1. Senior Grisha Griffiths, junior Mitchell Sterlitz, junior Paul Schaefer, and junior Kellen Porter all notched goals.

At halftime, the Dreadnaughts took a 7-3 lead after second-quarter goals from Griffiths (2) and junior Luke Sayler.

During the break, Semple’s focus to the team was on defense. Win the possession in the back, then look to attack.

“The biggest thing is stressing fundamentals. Playing with your hips up, playing aware,” said Semple. “As long as you’re aware and reacting to what’s happening you’re gonna make good defensive plays. I want players to recognize things before they happen and be able to react to the play early so it gives them better opportunities on a counter. I thought the guys did a great job coming out with an intensity and really punched them. The 50/50 ball we won more often than not. It created a lot of opportunities”

The third period was the tipping point for the Dreadnaughts, they added 5 goals in the period while allowing none. Griffiths had two, Sterlitz had one, and Schaefer had the other two goals for the Dreadnaughts.

In the fourth period, the Dreadnaughts outscored the River Rats 3-2 to make the final score 15-5.

Griffiths paced the Dreadnaughts in scoring with five sprinter Schaefer had four.

Grisha, he had a great game offensively, Sterlitz has a great shot,” said Semple. “He shot the ball well tonight. Sayler had a solid game offensively in terms of working and winning position. Our sprinter Schafer, he also counters really hard. I took him out the last period, but he played the first three, our energizer, he gets out and goes after it.”

Semple also recognized senior captain Henry Gaetino, shutting down one of the River Rats stronger players throughout the night on defense in addition to sophomore goalie Tony Golin.

He’s is one of the best in the state that’s one of our benefits,” said Semple on Golin. “We can do some of the things we do defensively because he’s good enough in goal where we can cheat off of guys knowing to let some guys shoot can lead to a counter attack. 90 percent of the time, he’ll block it.”

The Dreadnaughts next contest is Sept. 12, again taking on the River Rats.

 

 

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Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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