There was a strange twist to Brea Olinda’s 16-4 victory over Magnolia in an Orange League water polo game Wednesday at Brea.
Although Brea (10-6, 2-0) took the inside track to the league title with the victory, it defeated a team with a lot of junior varsity players.
The game was supposed to feature the top contenders for the league title. Brea is ranked sixth in the Southern Section Division VI poll and Magnolia (12-6, 2-1) entered the game undefeated in league.
But only two of Magnolia’s varsity players made the trip to Brea.
“I don’t why they would do that,” Brea Coach Scott Kling said. “I have only one senior starter and we lost 10 players from last season.
“And for them to come into a game that they’re favored to win and take the loss? I’ve never seen anything like this. It makes no sense.”
Everything was perfectly clear for Magnolia Coach Mark Cholette.
“Brea always has been and always will be the team to beat,” Cholette said. “They’re a different caliber team. We don’t even look at Brea anymore.
“We look at Western, Savanna and Valencia as the teams we need to beat. We wanted the varsity to work on other aspects of the game so they stayed at [Magnolia] tonight to practice.”
Cholette said he did not regret his decision to leave the varsity behind although his team only trailed, 3-1, after one quarter and, 6-2, at halftime.
Matt Flesher and Brent Reimer each scored five goals for Brea, which led, 12-3, after three quarters. Kling said he emptied his bench for the fourth quarter.
Although Cholette admitted he conceded this victory to Brea, he said things could be different in the second round.
“Brea’s not as strong as we anticipated,” Cholette said. “We’ll play the full varsity squad when we play them again.” The teams play at Magnolia Oct. 28.
Said Kling: “If they were sandbagging for the next game, we’ll still be ready. I think we can win either way.”