LOWER GWYNEDD >> The North Penn boys and girls water polo teams both got off to fast starts Thursday night at Wissahickon, and just like that, the regular season was history.
“Good way to finish it off,” Knights coach Jason Grubb said. “We have the conference tournament coming up, and it’s nice to start the postseason now.”
Going against a pair of Wissahickon squads that look to make a dent at Easterns, the top-seeded North Penn girls enjoyed a 9-4 victory over Wissahickon and the No. 1 NP boys followed with a 13-6 win in the second half of the doubleheader.
“We’re starting to play better,” Grubb said of the squads, each defending State Champs. “Hopefully now things are coming together.
“The boys had a good game Monday night against Wilson, and the girls unfortunately had a little bit of a letdown, losing in overtime, but both were good opportunities for the end of the year when we face them again.”
The North Penn girls jumped out to a 5-1 first-quarter lead over surging Wiss, which will be the second seed in the Eastern Conference Tournament.
“That could be the championship game for the conference,” Grubb said.
The Trojans had their moments on Senior Night, with Laila Kennedy scoring a goal, drawing two ejections and coming up with two steals. Emma Benning had four steals for the Trojans, as did Sophia Tsiobikas.
Cailtin Valentine, facing plenty of pressure put on by North Penn, stopped eight shots and added four steals.
Wiss cut the deficit to 5-3 at the half but a pair of goals by the Knights’ Kaelan Daly helped settle things down for North Penn.
The North Penn boys came out just as fast in their contest, building a 5-1 lead that eventually grew into 8-1 by the middle of the second quarter.
“We definitely have to keep that first quarter (play) going, and maintain that, that speed,” Grubb said.
A goal by A.J. Patterson started a 4-0 run for the Knights. Wiss eventually cut it to 9-4 by the end of the third quarter.
The Trojans, with outstanding play this season from surprising freshman Danny Crump, as well as the all-around skills of Anthony Schoppe, are hoping for a postseason run.
Wiss has 31 boys out this fall, including nine freshmen.
“It’s good to see them progressing the way they have been,” said Trojans coach Bart Schneider. “They’re really coming around.”
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