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The numbers add up in the Timberwolves' favor

Water polo -- The deep Tualatin team scores a 17-4 win over the Tigers in Monday's match
by: DAN BROOD, SPLASH ATTACK — Tualatin’s Chet Schuster (left) looks to take a shot past Tigard’s Zach Eastwood in Monday’s game. Schuster helped the Timberwolves score a 17-4 victory over the Tigers.

TUALATIN - For the Tualatin High School boys water polo team, it was just a numbers game.

That means a big number of players seeing action in the pool, a big number of players getting into the scoring column and, in Monday's game with rival Tigard, a big number on the home side of the scoreboard.

The Timberwolves, with nine different players scoring at least one goal, rolled to a 17-4 win over the Tigers in a Pacific Conference game played Monday at the Tualatin Swim Center.

'It was a good game for us,' said Tualatin senior Robert Divine. 'We have a lot of depth again this year and we have a lot of people who can score. That's definitely a good thing.'

With the win, the Tualatin boys improved to 5-1 in Pacific Conference games, putting them alone in second place behind Newberg.

'It should be a good year,' Tualatin coach Russ Alvarez said. 'We have 10 seniors and most of them have played for four years. We're also pretty deep.'

Tigard moved to 2-4 in league games with the setback.

'I know the team hates losing,' Tigard coach John Ruzicka said. 'But they're having fun and they have the best teamwork that the team has had in a long time.'

In Monday's match, senior Austin Coupe' and Divine each scored an early goal to give the Wolves a 2-0 lead 1 minute and 50 seconds into the first quarter.

Tigard cut the lead to 2-1 on a penalty shot goal by sophomore Jeff Rogers coming with 3:48 to play in the opening period, but the Tigers wouldn't be able to score again in the quarter.

Coupe' scored on a long shot to give Tualatin a 3-1 lead. Junior Chet Schuster followed with back-to-back goals to push the margin to 5-1. Senior Brad Alvarez scored on a pair of back-to-back goals of his own to give the Wolves a 7-1 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Senior Kyle Carpenter scored twice for Tualatin in the second quarter. Senior David Torbeck, senior Mitch Thaler and sophomore Alex Weiglin each added a goal in the period as the Wolves pushed their lead to 12-1 at halftime.

Divine, with a backhand goal, gave the Wolves a 13-1 lead less than a minute into the third quarter. Tigard, however, continued to battle back. The Tigers got another penalty shot goal by Jeff Roger and, late in the quarter, they got back-to-back goals from senior Louis Rogers and from junior Zach Eastwood, off an assist from Jeff Rogers, to make the score 14-4 going into the fourth quarter.

But Tualatin, getting goals from Coupe', from senior Eric Walton, off a pass from Coupe', and from Schuster, off an assist from Divine, in the final stanza wrapped up its 17-4 victory.

'As a team, things are going great,' Divine said. 'We're connecting well and we have some younger players who are stepping up. Only time will tell, but we're hoping to go far this year.'

Schuster led a balanced Tualatin scoring attack in the win with four goals. Coupe' added three goals while Divine, Brad Alvarez and Carpenter each scored twice. Tualatin also got strong play from senior Ryan McNamara in the hole.

For Tigard, Jeff Rogers had two goals, Louis Rogers and Eastwood each scored once.