Sharks show heart In loss

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The Malibu High School boys water polo team lost an 11-9 overtime heartbreaker to rival Oaks Christian last week on Wednesday.

The Sharks trailed the Lions at the end of the third quarter, 5-4, before mounting a comeback in the next period. With one minute left in the game, the Sharks’ Jake Philbrick tied the game at eight apiece on a penalty shot. Malibu continued to play aggressively, and with 26 seconds remaining in regulation, Carter Baldwin scored to give the Sharks a 9-8 lead.

On the Lions’ next possession, the Sharks stole the ball and their victory seemed sealed. However, following a delay of game call on Malibu, the Lions were given the ball and scored at the buzzer to tie the score at nine.

In overtime, the Lions kept their momentum from the final minute of the fourth quarter and scored two quick goals to win, 11-9.

Sean Merrick led the Sharks with four goals. Philbrick added three goals and Baldwin scored two more.

The loss dropped the Sharks to 20-4, and ended their eight-game winning streak. The Lions clinched first-place in the league with the win, and the Sharks were forced to settle with second position.

The victory had large implications for the Lions. Along with clinching the league title, Oaks Christian proved that its victory over the Sharks earlier in the month was not a fluke. Prior to the game, in an exclusive interview with The Malibu Times, former Lions and current USC football star Marc Tyler said, “Malibu is always good in water polo. In order to upset them, we need to bring our A-game.”

The game was originally going to be played in Malibu on Oct. 24. However, the Canyon Fire forced the game to be postponed a week, and a broken pool heater caused the contest to be moved to Agoura High School.

The Sharks begin post-season play this Thursday at a location to be announced.