STOCKTON -- The Modesto Junior College water polo team led for only 1 minute, 24 seconds, of their game Wednesday at San Joaquin Delta.
But fortunately for the Pirates, it was the final 1:24.
Braden Lee gave MJC its first lead and Matt Tamo added an insurance goal a few seconds later as the Pirates rallied from behind for a 14-12 Big 8 Conference win.
Modesto (11-4, 2-2) fell behind 4-0 before mounting its comeback. Tim Richard was instrumental with five goals, three assists and 10 steals. Zach Hazelwood preserved the win with two blocks in the final minute and finished with 11 saves.
Lee finished with three goals, and Nick Serratos and Jason Mensonides had two apiece. Tyler Jamison finished with a goal, five assists and three steals.
"An all-around team effort, the team never quit and kept a positive attitude all game," MJC coach Eric Fischer praised.
MJC WOMEN WIN Kristine Groteguth totaled five goals for the Pirates (5-12, 2-3), who jumped to a 4-0 lead and eventually won at Delta 10-6. At the other end of the pool, goalkeeper Ellisa Williams starred with 17 saves.
Kendall Reilly and Alex Wheeler had two goals apiece and Priscilla Acosta also scored.
BLUE DEVILS BEATEN The Merced College women barely missed a game-tying goal with 13 seconds left and Cabrillo escaped from the valley with a 9-8 Coast Conference win.
The Blue Devils (11-4, 1-2), who won the Northern California title last fall, were paced by Liz Menefee and Courtney Frampton with four goals and two assists apiece.
MERCED MEN WIN JT Lightfoot and Connor Greene each posted four goals during the Blue Devils' 18-10 Coast Conference win over winless Cabrillo. Kevin Richey accounted for eight saves for Merced (8-14, 1-2).
PIRATES FALL Modesto opened its Coast Conference season with a 32-17 loss to Santa Rosa at MJC Gym. The Pirates (1-1, 0-1) made it respectable with two wins via pin by Erick Gomez (197) and Ben Martinez (184).
Jason Cortez (141) picked up a 19-3 tech-fall victory for Modesto, which welcomes 15 teams on Saturday for its own Mike Tamana Invitational, named for the late MJC wrestler.
Gomez (8-1), a champion at the Lemoore tournament this season, should be seeded among the top four in his weight class Saturday. Action begins at 9 a.m., with the finals scheduled to start around 5 p.m.