Okemos Water Polo Splashes to Strong
Start, But Stalls in Second Half Against
Rockford at States
Okemos water polo fans came out in full
force for states.
ANN ARBOR - AP's No. 4 Okemos gave up the first goal of Friday night to No. 1 Rockford but quickly answered with a, 5-1, run to end the first quarter.
"The guys were amped up before the game," Okemos water polo head coach Eric Chisholm said after the state semi matchup. "They came to play today."
The second quarter, though, saw a drop in adrenaline, as the Chiefs' goal total from the first dropped by more than half. No matter, Okemos clung to a, 7-5, lead at halftime.
"I was just telling them to keep up the work, keep up the effort," Chisholm said. "I was hoping we don't get tired. We have six guys."
Rockford continued to pluck away at the lead each minute into the third. Another split in goal production from the Chiefs, and all of a sudden, the Rams found themselves, in a, 8-8, tie to close the third.
"I think it was just they got tired a little bit," Chisholm said. "When you don't have very many subs, (that) tends to happen."
Rockford pulled away in the fourth quarter with five goals, and made yet another state finals trip, after a, 13-9, finish.
"Rockford's got a long-standing tradition over there," Chisholm said.
"They're just a great team, great players, good kids."
Okemos hopes to challenge that great team next year as the Chiefs, with no current seniors, return an intact roster for the 2016 season.