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Sunny Hills Tops La Habra in Water Polo

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Even the golden arm of La Habra’s Scott Seminoff couldn’t break Sunny Hills’ 21-year hold on the Freeway League water polo championship.

Wednesday at Independence Park, Sunny Hills topped La Habra, 7-6, in overtime, ending the Highlanders’ bid to clinch the league championship.

Sunny Hills’ victory put the Lancers (12-10, 3-1 in league) in a tie for first place with La Habra (18-7, 3-1). Buena Park, which broke Sunny Hills’ 120-game, 22-year-old Freeway League winning streak, also has only one league loss, to La Habra.

Seminoff, who scored three goals, forced the overtime with a buzzer-beating goal at the end of regulation that capped a four-goal, fourth-quarter rally.

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Despite having three defenders draped over him, Seminoff flipped the ball over his right shoulder and over the outstretched hands of Sunny Hills’ goalie Mark Magna (12 saves) from five meters.

“The kids were dejected after that play,” Sunny Hills Coach Keith Nighswonger said. “But I told them that they executed their defense well on that play and there’s nothing you can do if you get beat by a super human effort.”

Sunny Hills rebounded for the victory when Mitch Darracq scored the only goal in the three-minute overtime.

Sunny Hills took a 6-2 lead with 4:09 remaining when Darracq, who had three goals, scored on a backhander in the hole.

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Seminoff, who is considering USC, UCLA and Pepperdine, started the La Habra comeback by scoring from the hole with 3:42 to play, cutting the lead to three.

Fidel Dominguez scored on a lob 48 seconds later and Ryan Anderson scored from six meters with 1:30 to play to get La Habra to 6-5.

Lucas Dabney had three goals for Sunny Hills. La Habra goalie Tom Davis made 14 saves.


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