So Cal High School Water Polo: Corona Rolls, Servite Upset by Esperanza -- November 12, 2001
CORONA DEL MAR, CA., Nov. 10. DON'T get Coach John Vargas' Sea Kings mad.
The second-seeded and double-defending CIF Division II champs went on a scoring binge for the second-consecutive playoff game here this afternoon, routing Santa Margarita, 20-3.
On Thursday Corona del Mar won a laugher over Cypress, 19-1.
The Sea Kings were led by Artie Door and Michael March, who each scored four goals. CDM will next face Los Alamitos, a 16-2 winner over Tustin, in Wednesday's semi finals.
However, the season came to an abrupt end for DII's top-seeded Anaheim Servite, the only Southern Section team to defeat the Sea Kings this season, as the Friars lost to crosstown foe Esperanza, 7-6, at Placentia's El Dorado High.
Esperanza (15-11) limited Servite (27-4) to a pair of goals in the first half and had what was thought to be a commanding 6-3 advantage with four minutes remaining.
"The kids were pretty shocked afterwards," Servite coach Jim Sprague said. "But we just didn't perform well today."
James Low had a trio of goals and Barrett Sheridan, a menacing 6-5 senior, made 17 saves for the winning Aztecs. Sheridan was at his best in the game's final minute when, with the Aztecs clinging to a 6-5 lead, he stopped a Servite shot from point-blank range with 48 seconds remaining to foil the Friars' man-advantage attempt.
With 22 seconds, Sheridan next stopped an open shot from 6 meters by the Friars' Vince Bevins.
Esperanza will next play Laguna Beach, a 6-5 winner over Edison. The Laguna Artists are now 21-9.
"It's like heaven," an elated Sheridan said afterwards. "I don't think they [Servite] came out with the intensity we had."
Esperanza advances to the CIF semis for the first time under fifth-year coach Galen Diaz, and for the first time since 1995.
In Division 1 action, top-seeded Long Beach Wilson advanced to the semi-finals with a convincing 14-4 win over Irvine, but Newport Harbor bowed to Harvard Westlake, 13-5. And upstart San Clemente, which had lost two of three games to Santa Ana Foothill earlier this season, won a hard-fought 5-3 matchup at Newport
Harbor High to advance too.
San Clemente held Fothill scoreless for the final 16 minutes and goalie Jeff Hopps stopped 12 shots, including a four-meter penalty throw with the score
tied early in the second quarter.
Logan Powell played strong defense against Foothill's leading scorer, Alex Cripe, who didn't have a shot on goal.
Saturday was the first time Powell was given the assignment of guarding Cripe the entire game, and he responded with a superb effort, said San Clemente coach Mark Parker. "It was all defense," Parker said. "I've been preaching it for two weeks straight."
San Clemente is now 28-11 while Foothill finishes at 18-10.
Coach Rich Corso's Harcard Westlake Wolverines, third-seeded in DI, went on a 5-1 scoring rampage in the second quarter and won handily over Newport Harbor's Sailors, 13-5.
The Wolverines led at halftime, 8-3, and are now 17-4 for the season. They'll next face second-seeded El Toro, a 5-4 winner over Villa Park.
In a major Division III upset, Bell Gardens toppled host and top-seeded Manhattan Beach Mira Costa, 10-8.
Bell Gardens, 28-3, built a 5-1 lead over the defending divisional champs and were never headed. Mira Costa winds up 21-7.
In Division IV action, top-seeded Ventura blasted Arroyo Grande, 15-7, for its second-consecutive impressive victory. Ventura opened the playoffs with
a 17-6 pasting of Calabasas.
Similarly, its arch-northern rival Santa Barbara advanced into the semis via a 5-4 squeaker over Agoura.
Santa Barbara defeated Ventura twice during the regular-season's final 10 days but was still seeded No. 2. It will next face Malibu, a 10-7 winner over Righetti -- while the top-seeded Eagles go against San Marcos, who edged Thousand Oaks, 9-8.
Semi-final matches will be played Nov. 14 with the finals in all six divisions scheduled for Nov. 17 at Long Beach's Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool.
-- Bill Bell