HC Boys' Water Polo dominates on defense, downs Waubonsie Valley

HC Boys' Water Polo dominates on defense, downs Waubonsie Valley

Koulouris' five goals supply the offense

By: Mike Ellis

HINSDALE—Hinsdale Central Boys’ Water Polo started quickly and never looked back, cruising to a 10-6 victory over Waubonsie Valley on Wednesday evening.

            Defense was the key to the Red Devil win, as senior goalie Mitch Courtney teamed up with Hinsdale defenders to hold the Warriors scoreless for the entire first half.

            Head coach Mark Bell said he felt his team’s outstanding defensive play was a function of playing as a unit.

            “Playing as a team—in a team sport, that’s what it’s all about,” Bell said. “When you have a bunch of individuals playing on their own, that’s how you lose one-on-one battles; but when you get a team that buy into a philosophy, and they all play the same way, that’s how you get a great defense.”

            Senior George Koulouris got his team on the board early in the first quarter with the first of his five goals, and senior Dan Ciciora followed with Hinsdale’s second goal shortly thereafter, off of a strong outlet pass by Courtney. After Ciciora and Koulouris teamed up for another goals, the Red Devils took a 3-0 lead.

            In the second quarter, Hinsdale extended its lead to 7-0 behind a goal by Nicky Relias and a high-arching shot by Alex Cruz that found the back-left corner of the goal.

            Holding Waubonsie scoreless for over 20 minutes, Courtney and the Red Devil defense finally lost the shutout with under a minute remaining in the third.

            “Defense always starts with a great goalie,” Bell said. “Having Mitch in cage is very beneficial to what we do. Oftentimes, we’ll funnel balls to him that some goalies might not be able to stop, but Mitch does.”

            The Warriors pecked at the lead in the final quarter, trimming the gap to four by exploiting holes on the right side of the Hinsdale defense.

            “They crossed the ball a lot,” Bell said. “They would drive, get to a decent position, and then make one crossing pass—and that is hard even for a good goalie like Mitch [to defend].”

            Bell said the second half afforded him a good opportunity to substitute and incorporate a number of players into a competitive environment.

            “We have a deep enough team this year and are balanced enough that we can start subbing as early as the first quarter,” he said. “It was really nice to get some of our kids extra minutes and extra experience.”

            The Red Devils will compete in the Naperville Central Best of the West Tourney this Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 8 a.m.

Score by Quarter







Waubonsie Valley






Hinsdale Central






Half: Hinsdale 7, Waubonsie 0

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