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Apollos win twice in Metro polo play

Sunset races past the Westview boys team 23-5 in league last week
by: Miles Vance CRANK IT UP — Sunset’s Zane Bambusch goes up for a shot over the defense of Westview’s Devanshu Awasthi during his team’s win at Sunset Swim Center last week.

CEDAR MILL - The Sunset boys water polo team believes good things lie ahead.

The Apollos put together two straight wins in the past week - including a 23-5 rout of Westview at Sunset Swim Center on Oct. 6 - and think their best days are still ahead of them.

'We're going to state,' said senior Zane Bambusch, who had nine goals in the win over the Wildcats. 'We just want to make it deep into the playoffs and make a run for it, see what we can do.'

Sunset's wins, which also included a 12-3 decision over Aloha on Tuesday, lifted its Metro League record to 2-3, while Westview (which lost to Southridge 16-6 on Tuesday) dropped to 1-4 in league.

'We're a really young team so this year is a big growing season for us,' said Westview junior Tal Lind, who scored once in his team's loss. 'We've just got to keep working hard in practice. There's a lot of guys who are starting to understand the game more and putting the ball in the back of the cage.'

That said, Sunset came out strong and dominated the first half of its win over Westview. The Apollos got three goals from Bambusch and two more from senior Sam Sullivan to take a 6-0 first-quarter lead that it would never relinquish.

'Our main goal was to work the ball around and set the offense up and get a lot of fast breaks and counters,' said Sullivan, who finished with six goals in the win. 'We have a lot of weapons on this team.'

The Apollos kept the hammer down in the second quarter too, pouring across five more goals and taking an 11-0 lead before the Wildcats finally got on the scoreboard. In that second stanza, Ben Lewis scored twice and assisted on two other goals, while teammates Braden Martinez and Sullivan scored once each.

'We knew we just had to get out to an early lead and hold it,' Bambusch said.

Westview's Dusan Micic scored his team's first goal on a counterattack assisted by Mel Comoda with 52 seconds left in the opening half, and the Wildcats followed that up at the start of the third quarter with their best stretch of the day.

There, Westview opened with back-to-back goals in the first 1:35, getting scores from Micic (assisted by Matt Lawyer) and Andrew Schubert (on a follow-up after a Micic shot was deflected) to move within 12-3.

But Sunset made sure the Cats got no closer. The Apollos closed the quarter on a 5-1 run that included goals from Bambusch and two from Grant Johnson, boosted their lead to 17-4 and put the game out of reach.

'We just need to get everyone involved and not let other teams shut us down,' Sullivan said.

Bambusch and Sullivan made they didn't get shut down in the fourth quarter either, teaming for five goals as the Apollos pulled away to win by 23-5. Lewis and Johnson added three goals each in the win, while Micic led the Wildcats with three scores.

'Today, we learned we need more conditioning,' Lind said. 'We got counterattacked a lot.'