Thu, Oct 06 2011 02:08 AM Posted By: Phillip Brents
The Eastlake High School boys water polo team improved to 3-0 in Mesa League play following Wednesday’s 16-0 victory over the Bonita Vista Barons at the Southwestern College pool.
On a windy and rainy night, the goals rained down on the Barons in a stark reversal of fortune in the 20-year series between the longtime east side rivals.
It is believed to be the first time that Eastlake has posted a shutout victory in the series.
“We weren’t trying to run up the score on them,” said EHS coach Chris Barrick almost apologetically.
There’s no real need for the Titans to apologize. They are now the better team in a new era for the sport locally, and took one step closer to securing their fourth consecutive league title.
But it will take some work to match what Bonita Vista accomplished in its undisputed two decades at the top of the Metro Conference: namely a streak of 15 consecutive appearances in the San Diego Section playoffs and 21 consecutive league championships.
Eastlake led 7-0 after the first quarter in Wednesday’s wet contest and owned a 12-0 halftime lead. Johnny Velasquez led the Titans with five goals while Josue Alvarez and Adam Hilborn each scored three times and Dylan Chase and Mike Tong each scored twice.
EHS goalies Rhett McGinty and Brian Porter split duty in the cage with five saves each.
It was also the Titans’ first shutout of the season — not an easy task in a generally high scoring sport.
The section record is four, set by two teams — Crawford in 1971 and Hilltop in 1993.
Barrick would rather talk about his team’s showing in the recent America’s Finest City Invitational Sept. 23-24 in Coronado. Eastlake placed 16th in the 32-team field but the Titan coach had nothing but praise for his squad.
“We played very well,” he said. “We played all the teams in the upper bracket. We lost one in overtime and beat the No. 2 seed in another.”
The tournament was heavy with teams from the hotbed of the sport in the state: Orange County and the greater Los Angeles area. Eastlake, seeded seventh in its pool, picked off one of them in its first game by downing second-seeded Murrieta Valley 11-10. Hilborn had eight goals in the win.
The Titans’ big win ensured they would play in the top half of the bracket and drew three more out-of-area teams. Eastlake completed the first day of competition with a 13-9 setback to La Serna. The Titans dropped their final three games on the final day: 11-7 to Temescal Canyon, 9-8 to Santiago in overtime and 10-6 to Mira Costa.
Mike Tong led the Titans with three goals against La Serna while Dylan Chase scored six goals against Temescal Canyon and added four goals in the OT loss to Santiago.
Vista defeated Coronado, 13-12, in a scintillating final to capture the 2011 AFC title. Eight-time defending Division I champion Carlsbad finished fourth while Cathedral Catholic (seventh) was among the other San Diego Section teams to earn a top-half place-finish.
Vista’s Danny Tanner earned the tournament MVP award while Carlsbad’s Peter O’Laughlin was tabbed the best goalie.
Barrick was most pleased by the mettle displayed by his team in the rapid-fire pace of tournament competition. Eastlake entered the tournament 6-2 on the season after a sixth-place finish in the Poway Invitational but left the elite gathering 7-6 but with high hopes for the rest of the season.
“We saw a lot of water — we played five games in a 24-hour period, it was a great test,” he said. “We were competitive in every game. For the level of play in the tournament and where we were bracketed, we did well.”
The Titans (now 9-7 overall) followed the AFC tournament with non-league encounters against a pair of North County powers. Eastlake dropped an 8-7 decision in the last seconds to Rancho Bernardo on Sept. 27 and defeated Poway, 12-10, on Sept. 29 in a rematch of last year’s Division I first-round playoff encounter.
Hilborn had five goals in the win over Poway while Eric Hum and Chase each scored two goals. Hilborn had three goals against RB while Chase scored twice.
The Titans have a key Division I showdown game against Torrey Pines Oct. 14 at UCSD and hope to score high in the upcoming San Diego Open near the end of the month.
Torrey Pines defeated Granite Hills, 7-5, to win the Poway Invitational to start the season but has since dropped a 7-6 overtime decision to the Eagles in a non-league game.
Granite Hills defeated Eastlake, 16-9, in the Poway Invitational. That game featured a one-goal margin between the teams until midway through the final quarter.
“We beat Rancho Bernardo, 12-6, in the Poway Invitational, so we’re 1-1 with them and that shouldn’t hurt us in the playoff seeding,” Barrick said.
The Titans opened Mesa League play with a 16-6 victory over Hilltop on Sept. 14 and subsequently defeated Mater Dei Catholic, 14-2, on Sept. 21.
Eastlake also defeated Patrick Henry, 14-5, in a non-league game on Sept. 16.
Eastlake Titans Statistical Leaders
(Through 10 games)
Adam Hilborn – 42 goals, eight assists, 15 steals
Mike Tong – 23 goals, six assists, eight steals
Josue Alvarez – 10 goals, 19 assists, 14 steals
Dylan Chase – 14 goals, seven assists, 20 steals
Eric Hum – four goals, 13 assists, 45 steals
Daniel Lord – seven goals, eight assists, 19 steals
Johnny Velasquez – six goals, two assists, eight steals
Tyler Rowean – three goals, five assists, 11 steals
Jian Laxina – two goals, three assists
Kevin Cochran – two goals, two steals
Jian Miclat – one goal, one steal, three steals
Rhett McGinty – six assists, 68 goalie blocks
Brian Porter – 20 blocks
America’s Finest City Invitational
ALL TOURNAMENT TEAM:
Danny Tanner (Vista), 12
Ryder Roberts (Vista), 11
Tommy Grall (Coronado), 12
Van Burgess (Coronado), 12
Rainer Sherwood (Carlsbad), 12
Erik Najarian (Palos Verdes), 12
Adam Abdulhamid (Agoura), 12
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Danny Tanner (Vista)
MOST VAUABLE GOALKEEPER: Peter O'Laughlin (Carlsbad)
Danny McClintic (Agoura), 12
Peter O'Laughlin (Carlsbad), 12
Nick Howard (Ventura), 11
James Robinson (Palos Verdes), 11
Tim Allen (Ventura), 12
Jordan Colina (Cathedral Catholic), 10
Oliver Carter (La Serna), 12
San Diego Section Place-finishers
7. Cathedral Catholic
17. La Jolla
19. Torrey Pines
20. Scripps Ranch
26. Santa Fe Christian
29. Rancho Bernardo
32. La Costa Canyon
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