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Glendale Cooked by Surprise : Water polo: Double-teaming maneuver pays off for Crescenta Valley, which breezes, 16-5, in Pacific League match.


LA CRESCENTA — Here's a specialty out of the Crescenta Valley High water polo team's cookbook: the two-meter man sandwich.

Preparation is simple. Place a defender in front of the opponent's two-meter man, and another behind him. Enjoy.

The Falcons did just that to Glendale's Gilbert Abramyan on Wednesday and cruised to a 16-5 victory in a key Pacific League matchup at Crescenta Valley.

In the first quarter, Abramyan scored two routine-looking goals from the hole, giving the underdog Dynamiters a 2-1 lead. The match was tied, 3-3, after one quarter, when the Falcons made the defensive switch.

Crescenta Valley pulled one of its drivers back into the hole to play in front of Abramyan, with the two-meter man playing behind him.

Abramyan did not score again, and Glendale was held scoreless until late in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Falcons put the game away with nine consecutive goals, the first three by Chad Celi.

"Once we started playing better defense, we had a lot of good counterattacks, and then we got pumped," Celi said. "And once we got pumped, we just took it away."

Celi, a senior driver, scored five goals.

"He's a real player," Glendale Coach Pat Lancaster said. "We didn't expect him to be so active. He was everywhere."

As the Falcons kept lighting up the scoreboard, the Dynamiters struggled. Unable to get the ball inside to Abramyan, Glendale players were left to fire long-range shots, most of which wound up on the chest of Falcon goalie Ryan Linnemeyer, who had 12 saves.

Joey Bennett and Mike Ostash each had three goals for Crescenta Valley (12-4, 2-0 in league play), which is ranked fourth in the Southern Section's Division III. Glendale (10-7, 1-1) is ranked seventh.

"(Glendale) is a good-quality team," Falcon Coach Pete Loporchio said. "We knew after the first quarter we were going to be in for a battle. They key for us was to keep it up."

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