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Lakers have rattled off 22 straight wins in the best season in school history.

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Lake Oswego junior Carlo Cremona takes a shot during his team's 11-7 win over Newberg at Chehalem Aquatic Center in Newberg on Wednesday, Oct. 13.The 2021 Lake Oswego boys water polo team is soaring to heights no other Laker team has ever reached.

Lake Oswego proved itself once again Wednesday, Oct. 13, when it beat Newberg 11-7 at Chehalem Aquatic Center in Newberg. The Tigers won Class 6A state {obj:57650:championships from 2014-19}, and also beat 2019 state champion Lakeridge at the end of last spring's COVID-shortened season.

"It's a phenomenal program," said Lake Oswego junior Hudson Schneider, who scored once in the win over Newberg. "We've got great coaching, great numbers, a lot of people coming in from club. It's a very good team to play on."

Likewise, junior teammate Carlo Cremona — he tied for team-high scoring honors with three goals against the Tigers — said that beating Newberg gave him "a great feeling," but also said that the Lakers hadn't played their best.

"We didn't play our best game," Cremona said. "There were missed shots, missed opportunities — we just weren't there. We didn't warm up like we should have. I think, just mentally, we've won so many games that it just starts to get repetitive."

The win — {obj:57652:the Lakers' 22nd straight} — kept Lake Oswego unbeaten in Three Rivers League play at 6-0 and overall at 22-0. The Tigers, meanwhile, saw their four-game winning streak snapped and fell to 3-3 in TRL play and 14-9 overall.

"We just need to be more aware of our passes — that's what killed us that game," said Newberg junior Mikey Mesneak, who scored once in the loss. "Lake Oswego is a great team, but I think we have the potential to beat them."

"We need to start playing more as a team than we did tonight," added junior Ryan Dickerson, who tied for team-high scoring honors with two goals. "We weren't passing good, we weren't doing what we needed to do to get scores. We were making sloppy passes the whole time. We just need to work on that more in practice."



Lake Oswego 11, Newberg 7

The Lakers started fast Wednesday, pouring across three goals in the game's first 2 minutes, 45 seconds, to lead the Tigers 3-0. Those early scores came from junior Jackson Barney, senior Max Spurr and senior David Morgan, but there was more to come.

After Newberg junior Grant Waldal hit for his team's first goal, Schneider scored on a break assisted by Barney and Morgan connected off a Cremona pass with 15 seconds left in the period for a 5-1 Laker lead.

Dickerson scored from point-blank range off a pass by junior Mateo McKay early in the second quarter to bring the Tigers within three goals, but the Lakers connected twice more to extend their edge to 7-2. The first of those came off a Cremona penalty shot and the second when senior Max Spurr made a steal, sped down the pool and scored off a Cremona assist.

The Tigers got another score from Dickerson with 1:20 left in the half, but the Lakers hit three times in the first 3:51 of the third quarter to boost their lead to 10-3. Cremona hit from short range off a Barney pass, Spurr scored on a break and Cremona connected again with 3:09 left in the period.

Newberg scored two of the last three goals of the third quarter and added a 2-0 edge in the fourth, but by then, it was too little and too late. McKay and Dickerson hit at the end of the third, while McKay and Mesneak added their team's final scores in the fourth quarter.

Despite their prodigious winning streak, the Lakers know that there's more hard work and more big games ahead.

"We've got to keep working hard. We can't get comfortable with what we have," Cremona said. "Any team can come out and beat us. I hate to say it, but if they have a good day and we have a bad day, we could lose."

"A lot of times, we get too much in our heads so we need to play simple, play our basics," Schneider said. "We know water polo so we need to stop getting in our heads and just do what we've played for years, what we've trained to do."

On their side of the ledger, the Tigers remained confident in their ability to play and in their ability to challenge Lake Oswego.

"Honestly, we have the possibility to beat Lake Oswego if we keep trying hard and work at practice. Lake Oswego does a lot of things well, but so do we," Mesneak said.

"I think we can definitely do better than we did tonight," Dickerson said. "We need to start practicing for what they do, and when we're not doing too good against them, we need to start working on that."

Spurr added three goals for Lake Oswego and Morgan two, while Dickerson and McKay led Newberg with two each.


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