When it comes to boys’ water polo, the class of the Pacific League recently has been Hoover High and Burroughs.
The Tornadoes are the defending league champion, but after last Thursday’s meeting, a 23-12 win by the host Indians, a new champ may have emerged.
“This has been a game we’ve been waiting for all season,’’ said Burroughs head coach Jacob Cook. “Obviously we got second to them last year and so a lot of my guys played club with a lot of their players and this is a big rivalry between them.’’
Senior utility David Arakelyan set the tone with a match-best nine goals for Burroughs, which claimed the CIF Southern Section Division V title in 2016.
“It’s amazing. I don’t think we’ve beaten Hoover in a couple of years,’’ said Arakelyan, who had five goals in the fourth period and six in the second half. “To get this win, especially against a tough Hoover team by that much is really amazing for our team.’’
Arakelyan’s 15-footer with 5:20 left in the fourth frame made it 16-11, his three-footer at 4:58 made it 17-11, and scored three in a row to make it 22-12.
The Indians led 5-2 in the opening period as senior utility J.J. Ambartsumyan scored two of his four goals.
Burroughs (10-8 and 3-0 in league) forged a 8-4 lead at the break as Arakelyan had three goals.
Junior Armando Honarchian (team-high four goals) had three tallies at the break for Hoover (10-5 and 3-1 in league), which advanced to the Division II quarterfinals in 2016 and had 11 straight league wins.
Burroughs outscored Hoover 7-6 in the third frame as senior setter/defender Arthur Sefayan rifled home three goals after scoring one in the first period and finished with four.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Indians were in front 15-10, but pulled away after getting five goals from Arakelyan.
Junior David Ashkharian added three goals for the Tornadoes, collecting two in the third quarter.