John Spangler has enjoyed a stellar career as a member of the Upper Arlington High School boys water polo team.

John Spangler has enjoyed a stellar career as a member of the Upper Arlington High School boys water polo team.

The senior, however, saved one of his most vital contributions for his final minutes.

Spangler's goal with 1 minute, 20 seconds remaining in the second overtime lifted the Golden Bears to a 9-8 win over Thomas Worthington in the state title game last Saturday at Mason High School.

Overtime consists of two, three-minute periods.

"It was a really good game of high school water polo, one of the best I've been (to) in a long time," UA coach Jim Roberts said.

It was the program's sixth state title and first since 2004.

"We worked well together as a team," Spangler said. "We bonded all year and just worked as a team. We came together (last weekend) and played really well."

After falling to Cincinnati Milford 11-7 in last season's title game, the Golden Bears returned to the state tournament looking to atone for that disappointing finish.

UA finished 25-6.

"This team exceeded my expectations in every regard," Roberts said. "We had a team motto, which was GRIT (guts, respect, intensity, trust), and the kids had grit. They refused to quit in every single game this year."

The Cardinals led 2-1 at the half but were outscored 6-5 in the second half, as the Golden Bears forced overtime.

Spangler finished with three goals, followed by Cris Miranda and Charlie Coons with two apiece, and Andrew Rabe and Zach Kelch each with one.

Goalie Dan Trotier made 10 saves.

Sam Reeder led Thomas with three goals.

UA reached the title game following a 9-6 win against Toledo St. Francis in a semifinal game last Friday.

The game was tied at 4 at the break before the Golden Bears took control in the second half.

Spangler led the way with three goals, with Rabe adding two and Miranda, Kelch, Coons and Adam Rabe one apiece.

Trotier had 12 saves.

"It was fun to have both central Ohio teams represented in the final," Roberts said. "Thomas is a very good team. They played very hard. It was just one of those games where somebody was going to be up at the end. They played their hearts out. It was the best game I've seen them play all year and it was probably the best game we've played all year."

•The girls team also reached the state title game but dropped a 12-11 decision to Thomas last Saturday.

Katie Allison's goal with 40 seconds remaining lifted the Cardinals to their first state title since 1988.

UA was seeking its ninth title in 10 years and 11th overall.

The game was tied at 6 at the half before the Golden Bears took an 8-7 lead heading into the final quarter.

UA was led by Kristyn Fulcher with five goals, one assist and three steals. Kayla Hammerberg had four goals, two assists and three steals; Kasi Vazquez had a goal, two assists and four steals; and Kelly Stiebler added a goal, two assists and two steals.

Goalie Stephanie Turner had four saves.

The Golden Bears reached the title game following a 19-16 win against Napoleon last Friday.

The Bears finished the season 22-4.

The senior class closed out their careers with two state championships and two runners-up.