Redwood girls shut down Porterville

Redwood’s Roamie Gailey shoots the ball against Porterville on Tuesday night. With Redwood’s 13-4 win over Porterville, both teams are now 6-1 in the East Yosemite League.(Kason Clark)

Redwood girls water polo hand Porterville their first loss this season with a 13-4 defeat on Tuesday night; both teams now have a 5-1 record in the East Yosemite League

VISALIA – Porterville girls water polo had been looking strong as it sat atop the East Yosemite League Standings. With a 16-4 overall record, a 6-0 record in league play and seven straight wins heading into Tuesday night, Oct. 17, the Panthers were on a roll.

But in their home pool, the Redwood Rangers shut down the Panthers in a 13-4 victory. Not only did the Rangers hand the Panthers their first league loss, the Rangers also improved their own league record to 6-1 this season. And better yet, they got vengeance for a 16-14 loss to Porterville from earlier this year.

“It felt really good. We’ve been working really hard for this,” Redwood’s Emelia Rasner said. “Last time we played them, it was not what we expected and not what we wanted to happen, so it felt really good to get one back.”

After the Panthers scored first, the Rangers responded with four straight goals. The Panthers scored to answer the run, but Rasner responded with another goal to give Redwood a 5-2 lead heading into halftime. After losing to the Panthers earlier this year, Rasner and the Rangers were off to the hot start they were looking for.

“We started out the game being confident and just being ready,” Rasner said. “Last time we played them, we didn’t come out strong and we were just kind of going with it. Just not enough energy.”

The Rangers stayed hot in the second half as they extended their lead to 8-3. In the fourth quarter, the Rangers continued to play reliable offense to add onto the lead. They also played great defense to prevent the Panthers from making a run down the stretch. 

“We were just talking though everything that was happening,” Rasner said about the defense. “We’ve been working on a lot of drops lately, talking through everything and slowing it down.”

On offense, Rasner finished the match with six goals. Her teammate Lily Iverson also made an impact with three goals of her own. Along with improving their league record, the Rangers improved their overall record to 11-8 this year. With little time left in the regular season, Redwood head coach Lily Myers and the Rangers will look to stay hot to end the year.

“I’m excited to finish off the rest of the season and I’m excited to see where we end up in the playoffs,” Myers said. “We still have a long road if we want to go far in the playoffs but as far as the end of the season, if they keep playing like they did today, then we’ll be fine.”

Redwood boys remain undefeated in League

After the girls wrapped up on Tuesday, Oct, 17, Redwood and Porterville boys water polo faced off. Looking to stay undefeated in the East Yosemite League, the Rangers defended their home pool with a 13-10 win over the visiting Panthers.

The Panthers did not make it easy as they took a 6-5 lead into halftime. But the Rangers started the second half with five straight goals to take the lead. The Panthers were unable to put together a response as the Rangers held on for the victory.

Porterville’s Blake Rogers passes the ball against Redwood. With their loss to Redwood, the Panthers fell to 9-13 on the year and 1-6 in the East Yosemite League. (Kason Clark)

In the victory, Mitchell Dean led the way with four goals. Ben Dwelle also played well with three goals for the Rangers. With their comeback victory, the Rangers improved their overall record to 11-10 this year and 7-0 in league play. With about a week and a half left in the year, Redwood head coach Major Rogers looks forward to seeing continued improvement from his players.

“I’m excited about them,” Rogers said. “Opening up the season this year, we lost to a couple of decent teams but we’ve only grown since and we’ve only gotten better. We’re still a couple weeks away from peaking which is going to be just in time for the valley playoffs.”

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