Tue, Sep 27 2011 02:38 AM Posted By: Phillip Brents
Hilltop High boys water polo coach John Salts even admits his team needs a kick in the pants sometimes to get it going. Such was the case during the recent Riverside tournament, played Sept. 15-17, and also the case during the Lancers’ Mesa League encounter against the Bonita Vista Barons Sept. 21 at Southwestern College.
Hilltop finished 3-2 in the 44-team Riverside tournament, going 3-1 after opening with a 17-7 loss to Riverside Ramona.
The Lancers promptly regrouped to defeat MLK’s B squad behind three goals from Luis Ontiveros and two goals each from Tanner Franklin and Miko Martinez. A 21-13 loss followed to Rancho Cucamonga, but Hilltop finished up strong with lop-sided victories against Canyon Springs (13-2) and Centennial (14-4).
Franklin topped the Lancer scoring chart in the victory over Canyon Springs with four goals while Ontiveros scored three goals and Stuart Sokil scored twice. Rodrigo Perez led Hilltop with five goals in the tournament finale while Ontiveros had three goals and Martinez, Sokil and Franklin each scored two goals.
Josue Macias had five saves against Centennial while Connor Kober had three saves.
Ontiveros had four goals in the loss to Rancho Cucamonga while Sokil and Franklin each scored three times and Carlos Uribe had two goals. Sokil had three goals in the opening loss to Ramona.
Salts noted that Riverside Ramona has a student enrollment of 5,000 students. “We had a strong finish,” the HHS coach noted.
Such was the scenario in the match-up against the Barons. Bonita Vista came out aggressive and played a strong defensive game while misfiring on several good scoring opportunities. Salts advisedly called a time-out, and it was a different Hilltop team in the water thereafter as the Lancers (6-3) pulled away to record a 16-5 victory to even their league record at 1-1.
Ontiveros scored the jump goal of the second half to propel Hilltop ahead 11-1.
Perez opened the game with a pair of goal-mouth scramble goals and Ontiveros made it 3-0 off an assist from Franklin to close out the first quarter.
After being held to three goals in the first seven minutes, the Lancers managed to fire in seven goals in the second quarter as they built momentum.
Perez scored two more goals while Sokil also scored twice. Javier Deleon, Martinez and newcomer Cameron Berry each closed out the first half with single goals.
The Barons (2-2) injected some enthusiasm in their game when they pulled to within 11-3 on the scoreboard on back-to-back goals by Isaac Metta and Devin Brockhurst. But Hilltop matched those goals with two unanswered tallies by Perez and Franklin to lead 13-3.
Brockhurst made it 13-4 on his second goal of the game but the Lancers once again added two goals of their own to lead in front 15-4. Ethan Newmeyer scored Bonita Vista’s final goal, and Sokil did the same for Hilltop.
Perez had a breakout game with six goals for the Lancers while Sokil scored three times and Franklin and Ontiveros each had two goals.
Macias and Kober each made five saves in a half of duty.
Brockhurst and Metta led the Barons with two goals each. BV goalie Riley Mangubat was credited with seven saves.
The Barons had entered the game against Hilltop riding a two-game winning streak following non-league victories against Monte Vista (12-9 on Sept. 16) and Oceanside (12-8 on Sept. 20). Brockhurst had four goals in each of those games while Metta scored four goals in the win over Oceanside and had three goals in the win over Monte Vista.
James Cevallos also scored three goals against Monte Vista while Metta had five goals and Brockhurst had four goals in a season-opening 14-11 non-league setback to El Capitan.
Overall, the Barons feature six returners in their lineup, five of them seniors. “Our goals are to keep winning and be competitive with the rest of the league,” new BVHS coach Andrea Alexander said.
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