On Friday, November 2, the long anticipated ILH Boys Varsity I Water Polo Championship took place on a rainy night between the ‘Iolani Raiders and the undefeated Punahou Buffanblu. It was a hard fought match from the beginning, and although ‘Iolani showed signs of greatness against a heavily favored Punahou team, the Raiders would fall short in the final quarters and take home second place.
The game evolved into a goalie versus goalie challenge, and even though the Raiders were behind at the end of the first quarter 2-1, William (Toby) Tobin ’21 managed to block five of seven shots on goal. However, this game was not all defense for the Raiders. In the second quarter, Dylan Stegman ’19 scored a beautiful goal, which along with a nice score from Ethan Lau ’19, put ‘Iolani up 3-2 at the half.
Being only the second time they were behind at the half all season, Punahou stepped up in the third, scoring two goals to go up 4-3. The action-packed fourth quarter turned out to be a nail-biter when ‘Iolani’s first three drives all ended in steals. On two of the steals, Punahou knocked in goals through ‘Iolani’s defense. Down 6-3 with time running out, the Raiders needed to fight hard for any chance left at victory. Once the clock reached the 2 minute mark, Tobin blocked a goal with his outstretched arm that would have sealed the game. However, when Punahou scored on a penalty shot with 1:30 to go, ‘Iolani’s chance at a come back faded away.
Even though ‘Iolani lost this year’s ILH Division I championship 7-3, a new generation of players await to pick up where the Class of 2019 left off and win the championship for ‘Iolani.