High School Sports

Section water polo finals: Hanford West boys deny Edison in D-III thriller

Jonah Addington rescued Hanford West with 20 saves in a 6-5 win over Edison for the Central Section Division III boys water polo title.
Jonah Addington rescued Hanford West with 20 saves in a 6-5 win over Edison for the Central Section Division III boys water polo title. THE FRESNO BEE

Jonah Addington, at 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, is a beast of a goalkeeper, a vacuum who also cleans up in the classroom with a 4.2 GPA.

Regardless where the Hanford West High School senior extends his water polo career – Brown, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, Pacific or Cal Baptist – this is certain: He’ll pack a large suitcase of emotion.

His final defining expression had him in control of the ball with his left hand, his right fist raised, screaming, “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” in the final seconds of the second-seeded Huskies’ 6-5 win over No. 4 Edison for the Central Section Division III title Saturday at Lemoore High.

“Been working for four years for this and we deserve it,” he said after blocking 20 shots as Hanford West closed a 25-5 season under coach Anthony Castellani with its third section championship and first in seven years.

Addington stood with a championship medal hanging from his neck, and that’s what he anticipated for a team that returned six starters from a D-III semifinalist: “Absolutely, 100 percent. We knew we had the skills and work ethic to get here, and we did it.”

Edison (24-7) was denied its first title despite bolting to a 2-0 lead and tying it 5-5 with 2:37 remaining on Robert Nunes’ rebound shot off Gavin Sanders’ steal.

The Huskies then turned to senior Justin Miller, who left-handed a 3-meter skip shot from straightaway for a 6-5 lead with 2:11 to go.

Addington made three saves in the first two minutes before the Tigers took the 2-0 lead on goals by Sanders and Nunes.

The turning point came with 22 seconds left in the first half, when Dustin Silva scored, reducing Edison’s lead to 2-1 The momentum carried over to the third period, when Hanford West tied it on a shot by Dario Gonzalez before taking a 3-2 lead on Hunter Hicks’ breakaway.

Edison responded with Nikolai Kapetan’s blast, but the Huskies answered with Miller’s skip from 8 meters.

Andy Boogaard: 559-441-6400, @beepreps

DIVISION III BOYS CHAMPIONSHIP

HANFORD WEST 6, EDISON 5

E, Gavin Sanders, Nikolai Kapetan, Michael Wiehl, Robert Nunes 2. Saves: Anthony Perez 5.

HW, Dustin Silva, Hunter Hicks 2, Dario Gonzalez, Justin Miller 2. Saves: Jonah Addington 20.

Records: Edison 24-7; Hanford West 25-5.

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