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The top-ranked Lakers held on for an 8-7 win over No. 2 Newberg in the 6A state championship Saturday night in Corvallis.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Lake Oswego senior Carlo Cremona (5) helps head coach Bryan Hill with his victory plunge after the Lakers won the 6A boys water polo state championship on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Corvallis.

The Lake Oswego High School boys water polo team are state champions for the second year in a row.

The Lakers came into the 6A playoffs as the No. 1 team in the bracket, and they lived up to that billing in an 8-7 win over No. 2 Newberg in the championship match on Saturday, Nov. 12, at Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis. After going into halftime tied at 5-5, the teams traded goals in the third quarter to remain deadlocked going into the final frame.

Seniors Carlo Cremona and Jackson Barney scored for the Lakers in the fourth quarter, and the Lake Oswego defense managed to hold the Tigers to just a single goal despite a late scoring chance by Newberg.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Lake Oswego senior Carlo Cremona (with ball) rears back for a shot attempt during the Lakers' 8-7 win over Newberg in the 6A boys water polo state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Corvallis.

When that shot flew past Lake Oswego goalkeeper Aidan Shannon, it went over the bar and out of bounds, sealing the Lakers' second state title in as many seasons.

On the road to the championship, Lake Oswego reeled off impressive wins of 22-6 against No. 16 Tigard and 17-1 against No. 9 South Eugene in the first two rounds on Nov. 5. When the Lakers came back to Corvallis, they continued their hot streak with a convincing 16-9 win over No. 4 Barlow in the semifinal.

That set up the close-fought final with Newberg on Saturday night, which ended with another Laker title and a victory plunge for Lake Oswego head coach Bryan Hill. The Lakers finished with a 32-1 overall record and a perfect 10-0 run to the Three Rivers League championship. They were perfect against in-state competition, too, as the season's only loss came in a tournament game in San Diego against local Helix High School.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - The Lake Oswego High School team celebrates in the pool after winning the 6A boys water polo state championship over No. 2 Newberg on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, at Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis.

The Lakeridge High School team also rounded out a strong season with a top-three finish at state. The third-seeded Pacers bounced back from a 13-10 overtime loss to Newberg in the semifinals, beating Barlow 18-8 in Saturday's third-place match. Prior to the semifinals, Lakeridge defeated No. 14 Sheldon 23-6 in the first round before a 16-9 quarterfinal win over No. 6 Tualatin.

"That was after a tough game where they lost a semifinal to Newberg, our rival, to bounce back from the last game of the night on Friday," added Lakeridge coach Aukai Ferguson of his team's third-place win. Adding to the late night on Friday, it was Parents' Weekend at Oregon State University in Corvallis, making for more difficult travel about town.

"They got home around 12:30, almost 1 o'clock, and they had to get back on the bus at 9:45," Ferguson added. "I wasn't sure what to expect from them, and they just put on a performance in that third-place game. They dominated. It was awesome to see them bounce back after a tough loss to our rival in that Newberg game."

Ferguson added that seeing the Tigers play so closely with the Lake Oswego juggernaut in the championship game made the Pacers feel a bit better about losing to Newberg.

"It really made the boys feel like they were at that elite level of water polo," said the coach.

Christopher Keizur contributed to this story.


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