The Eastlake Titans recorded the best place-finish among teams from the Metro Conference participating in last week’s Poway Invitational. The Titans finished 11th in the 28-team field.
Eastlake finished 3-2 in its five games, defeating San Ysidro, 20-6, and then dropping a 15-7 match-up against Grossmont in games played Sept. 6 at Grossmont High School.
The Titans followed with games against Westview (winning in overtime), Mission Bay (losing 11-8) and Poway (winning 12-9).
The win against San Ysidro and the loss to Grossmont placed Eastlake second in its bracket and out of a spot in the top eight.
“We beat Westview in OT by a goal on Friday and then lost to a very good Mission Bay team that has a foreign exchange student from Italy who is a solid player,” EHS coach Chris Barrick said. “He’s very physical and posts up very well. They played Granite Hills (the tournament’s eventual runner-up team) to a one-goal game. We played with them and actually won the second half, but started out down 5-0 in the first half and couldn’t make it all back up.”
Barrick termed the Titans' overall tourney showing as “not bad.”
“We were in a tough bracket with Grossmont,” the EHS coach said. “They are a very solid, senior heavy team this year. We played them tough for three quarters — it was a one-goal game going into the fourth quarter — and then they just wore us down and our younger players were just overmatched.
“It is good for our younger guys to get the experience now and learn from it to better themselves for the end of the season going into CIF. Beating Westview and Poway in the tournament will help us going into CIF rankings (both are Division I programs), so overall it was not to bad with the young group we’ve got.”
Eastlake dropped a 14-7 non-league decision to Grossmont on Tuesday to put the Titans' record at 4-3 on the season.
In seven games, Josue Alvarez leads EHS with 22 goals while Daniel Lord and Johnny Velasquez have scored 14 and 12 goals, respectively. Ricky Gonzalez has posted a 70.0 percent blocking percentage.
Huntington Beach defeated Granite Hills, 7-5, in the championship game on Saturday, Sept. 8,a t Rancho Bernardo High School, to cap this year's Poway Invitational. Thomas Hodgson led the runner-up Eagles with three goals while Kevin LeVine made 13 goalie saves.
Hodgson and LeVine are both four-year starters for Granite Hills, which returns four starters from last year's Division I semifinalist team.
Serra and Rancho Buena Vista both advanced to the Poway Invitational semifinals. Granite Hills edged Serra, 9-8, while Huntinginton Beach topped RBV 7-3.
Huntington Beach improved to 5-0 on the season while Granite Hills saw its record drop to 4-1.
As the top-finishing team from the San Diego Section at the Poway Invitational, GHHS coach Rhett Gaeir called it "an excellent start" to the team's season.
Final order of finish
1. Huntington Beach
2. Granite Hils
4. Rancho Buena Vista
7. Torrey Pines
8. San Pasqual
10. Mission Bay
14. Canyon Crest Academy
15. Santa Fe Christian
16. Del Norte
17. Valley Center
19. Mira Mesa
20. El Camino
21. Patrick Henry
22. Point Loma
23. Mission Hills
25. La Jolla Country Day
26. Rancho Bernardo
27. Mar Vista
28. San Ysidro
Lancers start 2-0 after sinking Spartans 20-2
The Hilltop Lancers sank the Chula Vista Spartans, 20-2, in a non-league game on Wednesday at the Parkway pool to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Nick Howard led the Lancers with 11 goals. He scored eight times in Hilltop's 20-4 season opening non-league victory against Clairemont on Monday to give him 19 goals in two games. He also has 13 steals.
Howard had eight goals in the opening quarter as the Lancers took a 12-0 lead.
"It is a nice way to come out of the gates with a 2-0 record, but we know it will be a long season with many challenges up ahead to face," HHS coach John Salts said.
"We are using every opportunity we have to prepare ourselves for league play. If we continue to take the steps we are making towards improving each day and each match, our goal of another CIF (playoff) berth and solid showing will be within reach.
"We have a good mix of veterans and developing players who should blend nicely by league play. With our travel tournament in Irvine that has traditionally provided the ignition to our season, we are looking forward to the challenges that await.
"We have some programs in our league that have made the extra push to improve over the off-season, so it will be an interesting season, to say the least."
Salts noted that Carlos Uribe has provided the solid anchor for the team both as a center defender as well as an outside threat on offense. Goalie Connor Kober, meanwhile,has played all the minutes in both games, coming up with 27 saves in the two games.
Injured goalie Josue Macias is expected back in action soon.
"All in all, it looks like the making of an entertaining season," Salts said.
South Bay League: Mar Vista looks to make waves once again
Mar Vista’s Mariners will be aiming to win the South Bay League boys water polo title. They will be aiming to do so this year without any senior starters.
“We are a young and small team (but) we are hoping that speed and teamwork can give us a successful season,” MVHS head coach Chad Kavanagh said. “We are really looking forward to this year as being a learning experience to prepare us for next year.”
The Mariners finished 14-13 overall last season, advancing to the San Diego Section Division III playoffs against Santana, dropping a 21-7 first-round contest.
Mar Vista finished 8-0 in league play.
Top returners include juniors Dominic Rodriguez, Zach Mahan and Duncan Hastings and sophomores Shane Landry and Josh Johnson.
Impact newcomers include sophomores Dane Bottomley, Raymond Medrano and Van Brannon.
The Mariners are off to a 2-4 start in 2012 following wins against Otay Ranch (21-3 on Aug. 29) and San Ysidro (23-13 on Sept. 7) and setbacks to Granite Hills (14-4 on Sept. 6), Ramona (8-6 on Sept. 6) La Jolla Country Day (12-10 on Sept. 8) and Rancho Bernardo (14-8 on Sept. 8) as part of the Poway tournament.
Rodriguez tops the Imperial Beach team in scoring through six games with 22 goals and 13 assists. Hastings follows with 14 goals and four assists.
Other team scoring leaders in the early going include Landry (nine goals, nine assists), Mahan (10 goals, four assists) and Johnson (nine goals, three assists).
Rodriguez totaled nine goals and five assists in the win against San Ysidro while Mahan was the team’s high-point man with five goals and three assists in the match-up against Otay Ranch.
The win over San Ysidro gives Mar Vista a 1-0 start in league play.
The narrow setbacks to Ramona and LJCD prove the underclassmen-laden team can be competitive against the intermediate-size schools in the section.
“We have no seniors starting this year and are excited for the future,” Kavanagh said. “Having said that, we are hoping to be well prepared for the post-season this year and are looking forward to finishing the season on a high point.”