This past weekend Cathedral Prep’s very own water polo team was in Mechanicsburg, Pa., for the annual state championship tournament. The tournament is set up based on a seed system. The one seed plays the eight seed, the two seed plays the seventh seed, and so on. Seed placement is decided based on conference record. There are three conferences. The two top teams from each conference make it, and the final two spots are a wildcard.
On Friday, heading into the tournament, the Ramblers were the overall fifth seed and had to play the fourth seed, Wilson High School. These two teams had previously met in the regular season, and that game was dominated by the Bulldogs. However, this time around the Ramblers were determined to make a different outcome, and come home with a victory.
The game started out slow for Prep, and by the end of the first quarter the Bulldogs led 4-0. The Ramblers fought back in the following two quarters but failed to cut down the lead. In the fourth quarter Prep was able to get within two goals, but several calls by the referees went against the Ramblers and ended up leading to Wilson goals. The final outcome was a 12-8 Wilson victory.
On Saturday the Ramblers put the loss behind them and came together as a team to pull off an overtime thriller against the La Salle Explorers. After the third quarter the Ramblers led by four goals, 12-8, but they failed to find any offense and quickly gave up the lead towards the end of the fourth. It wasn’t until the final seconds of the quarter when Prep’s Zach Miller scored with 10 seconds left to tie the game back up. On the way back down for The Explorers, they gave a good last second shot, but Prep’s Lucas Buseck made a tremendous save to send it into overtime.
The Ramblers had the momentum heading into OT and within a minute Daniel Bauman scored, putting the Ramblers on top. The rest of the overtime can be defined by one word—defense—as neither team was able to score. The Ramblers played great team defense and shut down La Salle’s offense, giving them their first win of the tournament. The final score was 13-12 Cathedral Prep over La Salle.
The last and final game of the day, as well as the season was against the Trojans of Wissahickon. The battle for fifth place, started out good for the Ramblers very early, but was very short lived. By the end of the first half the Trojans led 8-3, and theykept that strong lead until the final minutes expired. Despite last minute efforts by Daniel Bauman and the rest of the Ramblers, the defense could not contain Wissahickon’s whole set who continually scored goals. The final score was 18-14 Wissahickon, giving the Ramblers a sixth place finish overall.
At the very end of the tournament, after the state championship, which was won by North Allegheny, several Ramblers were named on the All-State team. Lucas Buseck and Stephen Bretz received All-State honorable mentions and are two of the top 35 players in the state. Zach Miller received a second team All-State award and is one of the twenty best players in the state. Finally, Daniel Bauman was given a first team All-State award and is one of the top 10 best players in Pennsylvania.
Here are the final overall results of the tournament:
1st place: North Allegheny Tigers 2nd place: Cumberland Valley Eagles 3rd place: Wilson Bulldogs 4th place: North Penn Knights 5th place: Wissahickon Trojans 6th place: Cathedral Prep Ramblers 7th place: Souderton Indians 8th place: La Salle Explorers