Water Polo: Dexter falls to top-ranked Hudsonville in state finals

The two top seeds in the Michigan Water Polo Association state finals met in the championship game on Saturday at Hudsonville. Dexter knocked off Zeeland 11-6 in a quarterfinal game on Friday and then scored an 8-4 win over Grand Haven in a semifinal game also on Friday.

Hudsonville’s path went through Ann Arbor – with wins over Skyline (11-5) and Pioneer (10-7).

Hudsonville not only was the defending state champions but have been ranked No. 1 all season and had a perfect record heading into the finals with the talented Dreadnaughts. The Eagles jumped out to a big lead and never let Dexter back into the game for an impressive 11-7 win and another state title.

The Eagles struck first to take a 1-0 lead but Dexter answered on a goal by Sam Sterlitz.

With the game tied 1-1 after one, the Eagles scored twice to take a 3-1 lead into the break. Hudsonville stretched the lead to 5-1 before Sterlitz scored again. But the Eagles answered with two more goals for a 7-2 advantage.

Leo Varitek scored twice for the Dreadnaughts, who continued to battle and cut the deficit to 7-4. But Hudsonville did what great teams do, they answered and scored to make it 8-4 before the end of the third period.

After Tony Golin scored for Dexter, the Eagles added two more goals to make it 10-5. Sterlitz scored his third of the game and Ben Duncan added a late goal for Dexter.

The Dreadnaughts finished with a 4-0 District record, 15-2 record in the region and 18-3 overall. They were an impressive 11-3 against top 10 teams.

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