SOUTH PASADENA — It isn’t too often that a 19-8 win is seen as a disappointment. But then again, it isn’t too often that the La Canada High School boys water polo team finds a challenge, let alone competition from the Rio Hondo League. Such was the case Tuesday afternoon, as the Spartans benefited from a strong first half to hold off a feisty South Pasadena High School team 19-8 on the road. Junior Gamal Rady excelled for La Canada (14-5). “We had too many ejections and too many mistakes in that quarter,” Spartans defender Devon Borisoff said. “They hung tough and we didn’t put them away.” Until the fourth quarter, that is, when four different Spartans scored a goal. Borisoff helped put the game away when the junior rocketed a shot past goalie Nathan Pendorf with 2:18 left in the fourth to put the score at 17-8. “Hey, we knew this team was ranked and they wouldn’t be a pushover,” Borisoff said. “We knew they would give us their best game and I think they did.” Cheney put in a strong performance for the Tigers, leading the team with five goals. “We knew that this game would be one of the biggest on our schedule,” Cheney said. “You can try to prepare for La Canada and try to have a good game, and I think we did OK.” Considering last year’s final score — a 27-2 Spartans win — it appears South Pasadena (9-3), ranked No. 9 in Division III, has made significant progress. “That’s what we were looking for, to improve and to challenge La Canada,” Cheney said. “We have one more against them and this will be good experience for the next time around.” For a team playing a brutal nonleague schedule, the Spartans may have had a bit of trouble playing with an unheralded South Pasadena team. “Sometimes we can play down to our competition’s level and that’s what happened today,” Rady said. “When you play so many tough teams, it sometimes hard to get ready to play league.” Despite the win, Rady and the Spartans believe they could have played better. “I think we might haven given this team a little hope that they can beat us” Rady said. “But we know we can play better and will play better. We just have to do a better job at focusing.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The All-Division III third-teamer scored six goals, four of which came in the first half, helping build a 12-4 lead. Close behind Rady was senior Jordan Thompson, who had five goals. “We started off strong but then got sloppy,” Rady said. “We didn’t play as well as we should have. Part of it was them playing well but part of it was us playing sloppy.” That sloppy play happened primarily in the third quarter when the Tigers made a bit of a charge. Within the span of two minutes, South Pasadena driver Jeff Cheney scored two goals to push the score to 13-6.
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- Spartans unhappy with 19-8 victory