March Madness and Ontario Provincial Championships - 14U, News (K-W Water Polo)

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March Madness and Ontario Provincial Championships - 14U
Submitted By Mark Gibson on Sunday, April 29, 2018
On March 23-25, The March Madness Tournament helped determine the final rankings leading up to 14U Provincial Championships.  

At this lead-up tournament hosted by the Mavericks, the 14U Girls, who included a couple of call-ups from our Inferno 12U team, were joined by players from Guelph and London.  The weekend featured highs and lows for the girls: in some of these games, the girls showed the high level of play they are capable of, but in other games, their play did not meet their potential.  This left some question to what they might be able to accomplish at the Provincial Championships. The 14U Boys, who also called up a couple of 12U Inferno players, maintained a high level throughout the weekend.  Due to some impressive wins and all-around competitiveness, they secured a strong ranking for the Provincial Championships: out of the 11 teams qualifying, KW Inferno Boys ranked fourth and among the top teams in Ontario.

So this brings us to 14U Provincial Championships.  Held this year in Scarborough at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, our KW Inferno teams had the opportunity to play in a world-class facility ... while outside Mother Nature dumped snow and ice on the region in a spring/winter storm!  The boys entered the water with a convincing first-game victory over HAWPC, 16-10, sending them into the Winners Pool. This set them against a Southwest team that featured players brought together from three different clubs, including a couple of boys who had joined our Inferno team in previous games.  This back-and-forth battle left our squad on the wrong end of an 8-7 score. Our boys’ next opponents were Ontario’s number one team, Mavericks One, who prevented Inferno from scoring even a single goal. In their final game, the boys matched up against Mavericks Two, who were, in turn, no match for our Inferno team, which secured the victory, 6-0, and a provincial ranking of 5th place in Ontario.

The girls team spent the weekend doing battle against opponents with whom they have become quite familiar: Capital Wave, Mavericks, and Ottawa Titans.  Their first game of the weekend was a nail-biter against Capital Wave and a player who towered over all other female competitors during these Provincial Championships.  If ever there was success in a loss, it was in this game, which our girls dropped 5-4. Another loss followed later that night to the Mavericks, 9-0. Our girls kept hope and remained determined, however, and won their morning match against Ottawa Titans, 14-7.  This meant our girls had to enter troubled waters again against Capital Wave for a gold-medal berth. And again, despite the size and skill of Capital Wave’s top player, our Inferno females defended and swam and scored in another nail-biter, and again our girls suffered defeat to Capital Wave, 9-7.  So their final game against Ottawa Titans meant our girls would either leave ice-covered Scarborough with a bronze medal around their necks, or no medal at all. With the game close going into the fourth quarter, Inferno heated up and secured the victory in the final minutes, ultimately winning the game 7-2 to become Ontario’s third place 14U girls team.

Congratulations go out to both teams for competing so well at the end of the season.  And thanks go out to Coach Glen and Coach Ryan for preparing these teams and leading them through these final two Ontario tournaments.  And our Inferno families deserve a nod as well for their intrepid travel and loud support, no matter the odds.
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