Coming into Wednesday, the Clovis West Golden Eagles water polo team had won seven straight and was boasting on offense that had scored 107 goals over that span.
The Bears Caleb Toroeka and the Golden Eagles Samuel Otta put on a clinic on how to carry a team offensively in a tough, meaningful game.
Toroeka had his fingerprints all over a game that was a shootout from the opening whistle.
Toroeka led the team with six goals, and they came in bunches.
With 4:45 remaining in the first period and the game tied at one, Toroeka found the back of the net for the first time with a blistering shot to the near corner of the goal to give the Bears the one-goal advantage.
Otta, who had seven goals of his own, answered back for the Golden Eagles with two scores, one on a penalty, and after one period, the match was deadlocked at four a piece.
Connor Fritsch and Tyler Mansheim added the next three goals combined and Otta added another for West. And after a while, scoring filled second period, The Bears lead 8-6.
Toroeka got back down to business the third period, scoring four goals and assisting on another.
Buchanan’s offense allowed it to stretch out the lead to the biggest of the match up to that point at 14-9.
Otta scored the opening goal of the fourth period to cut the deficit to just four, but that would be the end of the scoring on the night for West.
Buchanan promptly and decisively scored the last five goals of the match over a six minute span to secure the convincing victory.
Buchanan head coach Nic Maes was bullish on Toroeka’s performance.
“I thought he played well,” Maes said. “I think that there were a couple shots that he would have liked to place a little better, but he does a good job of making decisions on offense and he is definitely someone that controls the game.”
The Bears next hit the pool in another league game at Clovis North Oct. 8 while the Golden Eagles look to bounce back against in league play against Clovis on the same day.