Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Zumwalt West Outlasts Burroughs in Overtime Thriller

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Zumwalt West Outlasts Burroughs in Overtime Thriller

Article excerpt

LADUE * To hear Gerard Gonthier talk about it, you would think it was a game of regular polo rather than the aquatic kind.

"The guys decided in that second quarter to kind of put the stirrups on and get serious about riding the horse," the Fort Zumwalt West water polo coach said.

Down by four goals entering the second quarter, the Jaguars scored five straight to turn the game into a seesaw battle they eventually won in sudden death overtime 10-9 over John Burroughs in a Missouri Water Polo district tournament play-in game Thursday at Burroughs.

"We blended the team this time where we incorporated some of our JV players into the mix, so that's why I think the game was a little bit closer than what we would have liked." Gonthier said.

Fort Zumwalt West (8-9-1), the No. 16 seed, advances to take on top-seeded powerhouse St. Louis University High (19-4) in a first-round matchup at 12:15 p.m. Saturday at Lindbergh High.

"Both teams were like, 'I don't know if I want to play them,' but at the end of the day, it's still competing and somebody wants to win," Gonthier said.

The game-winner Thursday came out of the hands of junior Jackson Spencer with 1 minute 25 seconds to go in the first sudden-death overtime period.

"I was really happy, especially because it was a good shot high corner, right where I was aiming," Spencer said. "It just felt really good."

Burroughs (6-14), the No. 17 seed, jumped all over Zumwalt West with the four-spot in the first quarter on goals by Eddie Ko, Ethan Orchard, Matthew Lorberg and Sam Holmes, but Bombers coach Chris Lubniewski knew it wouldn't be that easy the rest of the way.

"We played them to a buzzer-beater last game (a 6-5 Zumwalt West win on April 20), so we knew it was going to be as close of a game this time," Lubniewski said. "Really, we were just out there to have fun, not get discouraged by the score and keep it as close as we could."

The Jaguars answered with second quarter goals from Devin Gonthier, Sam Leung, Kevin McElfresh, Kevin Drake and Jon Zuccarello in a span of 4:01 to take a 5-4 lead before the Bombers' Jan Kasal tied it 51 seconds before halftime.

Kasal, a sophomore, then scored the only two goals of the third quarter to complete a natural hat trick and give Burroughs a 7-5 lead. …

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