Special to The Malibu Times
The Malibu High School boys water polo team’s season came to an end Saturday at Arroyo Grande, with the Sharks losing 16-9 in the second-round playoff game. Jake Philbrick led the Sharks in scoring with three goals. Sean Merrick and Carter Baldwin had two scores apiece. Goalie Michael Galate had eight saves on the day.
Two days earlier, Malibu won its first game of the postseason with a 12-10 victory over Rio Mesa. The Sharks started off hot and outscored the Spartans, 5-2, by the end of the first quarter. However, Rio Mesa made a strong comeback, and by the end of the third quarter, the Sharks only led 9-8.
In the fourth quarter, Galate held the Spartans scoreless for the first six minutes, and two key steals by Baldwin helped the Sharks increase their lead.
Philbrick had five goals in the game, and Baldwin had four. Merrick, Blake Baldwin and Dash Ross each added a goal in the victory.
Although disappointed by the loss on Saturday, the Sharks (22-5) remain optimistic about the future. Juniors Philbrick, Merrick, Galate, and the Baldwin twins, as well as Alex Greenberg and Jacob Vandor, will return for their senior seasons next year with the goal of winning league, and, of course, defeating rival Oaks Christian.