The Thomas Worthington High School boys water polo team rallied twice from a five-goal deficit and edged St. Charles 15-13 in overtime in the state championship match Oct. 28 at Mason.
The top seed, Thomas went 3-0 in the 12-team tournament, which began Oct. 27, and finished the season 32-9, with just four losses to teams from Ohio.
“It was the most incredible sporting event I’ve witnessed in my lifetime,” Thomas coach Rick Yurich said. “It’s a testament to the boys and their will and perseverance. They just kept battling back. I’m ready to pass out with all this excitement. It’s going to be tough to drive home. I’m emotionally drained.”
Senior Taylor Weinsz broke a 13-all tie in the second of two three-minute overtime periods and Thomas added an insurance goal with 5 seconds remaining after playing keep-away from St. Charles, which finished 19-8.
“Our seniors were outstanding and we had four of them make first-team all-state — Owen Roesch, Jack King, Taylor Weinsz and Brendon Zurovchak,” Yurich said. “Owen was outstanding in goal, Taylor and Brendon did most of our scoring. But for me, if they named a tournament MVP, it would be Jack King. But the entire team did great and played well.”
Thomas took its first lead of the championship match at 11-10 with just over 2 minutes remaining in the fourth period. St. Charles tied the score at 11 with 42 seconds remaining to force the pair of three-minute overtimes and led 12-11 heading into the second session.
St. Charles had led 6-1 and 8-3 before settling for an 8-4 halftime lead.
Thomas opened the tournament by beating ninth-seeded Milford 22-4 on Oct. 27 and defeated fourth-seeded Cincinnati Princeton 11-4 in a semifinal Oct. 28. St. Charles beat sixth-seeded Cincinnati St. Xavier 11-4 in the other semifinal Oct. 28 after defeating seventh-seeded Mason 23-2 in its opener Oct. 27.
Also at state, third-seeded Upper Arlington went 2-1, beating fifth-seeded Toledo St. Francis 9-8 to place fifth, and 10th-seeded Worthington Kilbourne went 1-2 and placed 10th.