The Eastlake High Schools boys water polo team could be headed for something special to close out the 2011 season after engineering a power-packed 2-0 jump-start to this year’s 40-team San Diego Opena tournament with victories against East County powers Granite Hills and Grossmont on Monday.
The Titans stunned Granite Hills, 8-7, on Adam Hilborn’s game-winning goal with 2:13 remaining in regulation play to snap a 7-all tie. The goal was Hilborn’s fifth of the game and avenged an early season loss to the Eagles in the 32-team Poway Invitational.
Granite Hills finished second in the Poway Invitational. “This was Eastlake’s first victory against Granite Hills in school history,” EHS coach Chris Barrick gushed. “This is probably the biggest win in school history after we beat Bonita Vista to win our first league title.”
The Titans held leads of 6-4 and 7-5 in the second half after the teams were deadlocked 3-3 at halftime. “We pressed them,” Barrick said. “We went one-on-one at two meters with them on defense. Our two-meter guard, Eric Hum, played outstanding and had five steals. We also shut down their counter. I think they only got one counter-attack goal on us.”
Josue Alvarez, Dylan Chase and Hum each scored single goals to support the Eastlake offensive effort while goalie Rhett McGinty made six stops.
The Titans followed up the exciting victory against Granite Hills with an 11-6 win over the Foothillers as Hilborn scored four goals, Alvarez and Chase each scored twice and Hum, Daniel Lord and Johnny Velasquez each scored once. McGinty had nine saves in the cage while Brian Porter was credited with one stop.
On Wednesday at Southwestern College, Eastlake moved one stop closer to claiming its fourth consecutive Mesa League championship by defeating arch rival Bonita Vista 17-5. Hilborn led the Titans, who improved to 7-0 in league play, with six goals while Chase scored four goals, Jian Miclat scored three goals and Mike Tong scored two goals. Lord and Kevin Cochrane each scored once while McGinty was credited with six saves and Porter was credited with four saves.
Isaac Metta led the Barons (12-12) with three goals. Teammate Devin Brocklehurst contributed two goals.
Bonita Vista is also entered in this year’s San Diego Open, but will start play later in the week. The tournament finals are scheduled this Saturday at the Bishop’s School.
Eastake (16-8 overall) returns to action in the SD Open on Friday.
The Titans defeated Mater Dei Catholic, 22-1, last Friday at SWC to improve to 6-0 in league play. Hilborn keyed Eastlake with five goals while Chase scored three times. Tyler Rowean, Velasquez, Cochrane and McGinty each scored two goals.
Bonita Vista was playing its second league game in as many days after topping the Otay Ranch Mustangs, 13-5, in a game played Tuesday at the Loma Verde pool. Metta paced the Barons with eight goals, followed by Robert Rabago and James Cevallos with two goals each and Alexis Olimon with one goal. Riley Mangubat was credited with nine saves.
Prior to the game against Otay Ranch, Bonita Vista dropped a 12-10 league match-up against the Hilltop Lancers last Friday at the Parkway pool. The game was tight throughout, with Hilltop holding a 5-3 halftime advantage.
Metta led Bonita Vista with six goals while Brocklehurst scored two goals and Rabago and Ethan Newmeyer each chipped in with one goal.
Rodrigo Perez led Hilltop with four goals while Stuart Sokil and Luis Ontiveros each scored three times and Gio Rude and Javier Deleon each had one goal.
The Lancers were idle in league play Wednesday but opened play in the San Diego Open on Monday with a 16-12 setback to the Mt. Carmel Sundevils, who are expected to be one of the higher-seeded teams in the upcoming San Diego Section Division II playoffs.
With Scripps Ranch moving up to Division I this season, a new Division II champion will be crowned.
Both Hilltop and Bonita Vista will contend for at-large berths in the Division II playoffs.
“If we played like we did against Hilltop this last time and not the way we did the first time (a 16-6 Barons loss), I think we have a good chance of making the playoffs,” BVHS coach Betty Alexander said.
Wednesday’s loss to Eastlake dropped the Barons to 3-4 in league play, with one game remaining against Mater Dei Catholic.
Hilltop improved to 4-2 in league play after the win over Bonita Vista and 12-9 overall following Monday’s loss to Mt. Carmel. The Lancers previously defeated Mater Dei Catholic, 17-6, in a game played Oct. 19 at the Parkway pool.
Hilltop recorded a pair of identical 16-5 wins against Otay Ranch in a league game on Oct. 14 and Mar Vista in a non-league game on Oct. 17.
Eastlake Titan Scoring Leaders
(24 games/Through Oct. 26)
Adam Hilborn: 94 goals, 25 assists, 33 steals
Dylan Chase: 53 goals, 26 assists, 40 steals
Mike Tong: 35 goals, 14 assists, 17 steals
Josue Alvarez: 22 goals, 31 assists, 47 steals
Daniel Lord: 20 goals, 15 assists, 41 steals
Johnny Velasquez: 18 goals, 3 assists, 12 steals
Eric Hum: 16 goals, 32 assists, 109 steals
Tyler Rowean: 11 goals, 10 assists, 21 steals
Kevin Cochran: 6 goals, 6 assists, 15 steals
Jian Miclat: 5 goals, 9 assists, 7 steals
Jian Laxina: 5 goals, 8 assists, 2 steals
Rhett McGinty: 2 goals, 12 assists, 36 steals, 6.29 GAA, .524 blocking percentage
Brian Porter: 0.731 blocking percentage
Mesa League standings
Eastlake Titans 7-0
Hilltop Lancers 4-2
Bonita Vista Barons 3-4
Otay Ranch Mustangs 1-5
Mater Dei Catholic Crusaders 1-5
Wednesday, Sept. 14
Eastlake 16, Hilltop 6
Wednesday, Sept. 21
Eastlake 14, Mater Dei Catholic 2
Hilltop 16, Bonita Vista 5
Friday, Sept. 23
Eastlake 16, Bonita Vista 0
Mater Dei 13, Otay Ranch 9
Wednesday, Oct. 12
Eastlake 17, Hilltop 11
Bonita Vista 16, Otay Ranch 8
Friday, Oct. 14
Hilltop 16, Otay Ranch 5
Bonita Vista 13, Mater Dei Catholic 5
Wednesday, Oct. 19
Hilltop 17, Mater Dei Catholic 6
Eastlake 19, Otay Ranch 4
Friday, Oct. 21
Hilltop 12, Bonita Vista 10
Eastlake 22, Mater Dei Catholic 1
Tuesday, Oct. 25
Bonita Vista 13, Otay Ranch 5
Wednesday, Oct. 26
Eastlake 17, Bonita Vista 5
Otay Ranch 7, Mater Dei Catholic 6
Wednesday, Nov. 2
Otay Ranch vs. Hilltop at Parkway pool, 2 p.m.
Mater Dei Catholic vs. Bonita Vista at Southwestern College, TBA
Friday, Nov. 4
Hilltop vs. Mater Dei Catholic at Las Palmas pool, 3 p.m.
Eastlake vs. Otay Ranch at Loma Verde pool, 7 p.m.