Naperville Central boys water polo narrowly escapes Waubonsie Valley to advance to sectional final

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The sectional semifinal round of the boys water polo IHSA tournament matches up Waubonsie Valley and Naperville Central. The Redhawks look to get back to the sectional championship once again, where they have been every year since 2014 while the Warriors hope to make their first sectional final since 2010. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Waubonsie Valley roars to fast start in the opening quarter

Just under a minute into the game, Cam Censullo is fouled and is able to set up the offense for Waubonsie Valley. He feeds Charlie Drohan who shoots one off the post. Drohan is able to fight for the rebound and put in the first goal of the game. The tone is set early on in this game as the Warriors go up 1-0.

Not long afterwards, again it’s Censullo who lofts a pass to Drohan who slaps the ball into the goal. The Waubonsie faithful is fired up after that nifty one-timer as it’s 2-0 Warriors.

Still in the first quarter, Ben Meier passes to Censullo who gets into the scoring column himself as the Warriors get off to a perfect start with a 3-0 advantage.

Naperville Central battles back in the second quarter

Naperville Central needs a spark. Nick Simon swims the ball in and fires a shot into the left corner of the net. At first, there is no call for a goal, but eventually the referees come together and determine that the ball did indeed hit the back of the goal before bouncing out. The Redhawks are on the board down 3-1.

Near the end of the first quarter, Quentin Sanders finds Zach Gabel who fires the left handed shot into the net for the goal. Central now trailing 3-2.

After another goal from Charlie Drohan, Naperville Central back on offense as Aaron Junter bounces the ball into the goal as the Redhawks trail 4-3 midway through the second quarter.

Just a few moments later, Jack Gervase with a back and forth pass that ends with a game tying goal as the Redhawks even the score at 4-4.

Near the end of the half, Mason Schmitt gets a pass and then finds sophomore James Behrand who gives Central its first lead of the game as the momentum has swung to the red and white.

Waubonsie Valley with a quick response as Censullo and Drohan connect once again as Drohan goes high and throws another goal into the net. All tied up at 5-5.

After another goal from Behrand, Waubonsie Valley ties the game once again just before the half ends as Ben Meier throws a well placed shot into the corner of the net. 6-6 as we head into the break.

The second half goes back and forth as the teams battle for the lead

Early in the second half, Waubonsie takes the lead back. Senior Jude Caruso makes a great catch and heaves a bouncing shot into the goal to make it 7-6 Warriors.

Midway through the quarter, we have a tie game once again as James Behrand gets the pass from Nick Simon and scores for the Redhawks.

In the final minute of the third, a nice pass goes into Mason Schmitt who scores the first of back to back goals. Naperville Central takes a 9-7 lead into the final quarter.

Late in the fourth, Aidan Meagher passes into Charlie Drohan who scores his fifth goal of the night with just under a minute to play. Warriors down 9-8 as Drohan tells the crowd this one is not over yet!

Naperville Central looking to run out the clock and ice the game. Zach Gabel passes ahead to Sam Lendzion who finds James Behrand for the game clinching goal. Four of them on the night for Behrand. A tremendous battle in the pool as Naperville Central holds off Waubonsie Valley 10-8 to advance to the sectional championship against Naperville North.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!