Powerful Newberg is too much in state opener for Beaverton

CORVALLIS — There was no quit in the Beaverton boys water polo team.

No, the Beavers did not get the win they so desperately wanted in the Oregon High School State playoffs on Saturday at Osborn Aquatic Center, but here's what they did get — a state playoff berth for their 10 seniors, a chance to test themselves against one of the state's best teams, and another chance to show their resolve.

In this case, the Beavers dropped their state playoff opener to perennial power Newberg by a 14-8 margin on Saturday, and saw their season end after a third-place finish in the West Metro League.

by: MILES VANCE - GO FOR IT - Beaverton senior James Gayaldo races toward the goal against Newberg in the state playoffs at Osborn Aquatic Center on Saturday.

“We're definitely proud of ourselves. We worked very hard as a team,” said Beaverton senior James Gayaldo. “It didn't come out the way we wanted to in the end, but we gave it our all and we can be proud of that.”

“For us seniors it was the last game of our high school careers,” said Beaverton senior Dylan Bird. “We were down, but why give up? It's the last game we had.”

Newberg, however, was in no mood to be kind on Saturday, speeding out to a 5-1 first-quarter lead, then stretching that edge to 7-1 at halftime. Spencer McMaster and teammate David Flores got the Tigers rolling with two goals in the opening quarter, while Daniel Howse had Beaverton's lone score of the first half.

“I noticed that we watched the shots go in, and we watched our own players shooting, and as we watched, their team was countering,” Bird said. “You can't watch. You've just got to turn around and go.”

To their credit, however, the Beavers kept battling to game's end, eventually putting together their best quarter in the day's final period, outscoring the Tigers 6-3 behind two each from Stephen Kearns and Gayaldo and one each from Bird and Nathan House.

“Though we didn't come out on top we competed,” Gayaldo said. “We competed with the best teams in the state and we showed them we can play good polo.”

To see a complete photo gallery from this game, please go to

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