Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Boys Water Polo: Parkway West Explodes Down Stretch to Run Down Ladue

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Boys Water Polo: Parkway West Explodes Down Stretch to Run Down Ladue

Article excerpt

LADUE * As he prepared to take a five-meter penalty shot with 31 seconds remaining in a tie game, Mitchell Griffin had just one thought go through his mind.

"If I miss this, my coach is going to kill me," the Parkway West senior water polo standout said with a laugh.

Griffin, the area's leading scorer, made the shot to cap off a furious rally that saw the Longhorns score three goals in a span of 52 seconds to pull out an improbable 6-5 win over Ladue in a Missouri Water Polo match on Thursday at Ladue's Ramming Athletic Center.

"I wanted to catch the goalie off guard and not get up high and shoot it," Griffin said. "Just drill it into the back of the goal as fast as possible."

The goal was Griffin's third of the game to give him 88 on the season. It was his team-leading seventh game-winning tally.

"We've had some pretty successful five-meter shooters in the past, so we try and emulate that," Longhorns coach Charlie Cutelli said.

Parkway West, the No. 3 team in the Missouri Water Polo coaches' rankings, improved to 16-2.

"We knew it was going be a good game," Cutelli said. "We're really pushing to try and stay in that top three. Win, lose or draw, these are the games that will make us better."

Ladue, ranked fifth in the poll, fell to 10-3.

"These are two very talented teams and these are two teams that will probably battle it out again," Rams coach Michael Clay said. "They're incredibly well-coached, and year-in and year-out, they have a successful program. And my guys played the best game they've played all year."

The game had a unique twist the first eight goals were scored into the shallow end. Only the final three goals during the Longhorns' rally were scored at the deep end, which normally sees the majority of the goals.

"That was very rare. I was definitely surprised," Clay said. "We are not a good shallow-end team."

Parkway West scored the only two goals of the first quarter and they both came from a Griffin. …

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