Before his team's game against Long Beach Wilson High Tuesday night,
Corona del Mar Coach Barry O'Dea joked about how Wilson was probably
mad after losing to Newport Harbor.
Indeed, the surprise trouncing the Newport Harbor boys water polo
team administered last week got Long Beach Wilson attention.
It's no wonder the defending CIF champion Bruins turned things up
a notch in ensuing practices and came out Tuesday night on fire.
Wilson took out its frustrations on Corona del Mar High, swimming to
a 16-9 nonleague victory at the Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach.
Wilson moved from No. 1 to No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section's
Division I after the loss to Newport. Tuesday night against the Sea
Kings, the Bruins showed they still are one of the elite teams in
"We came out this season a little lackadaisical and full of
ourselves," said Matt Sagehorn, who led the Bruins with six goals.
"It was a huge wake-up call when we lost to Newport Harbor. Ever
since we've been working hard in practice and swimming hard. Right
there is Bruin water polo."
Wilson jumped on Corona del Mar early, jumping out to a 7-2 lead
after the first quarter and an 11-3 lead at halftime. The Bruins
counterattacked, moved the ball around quickly and played with an
intensity that seemed to be lacking in the Sea Kings in the first
"I don't think we were very intense at all in the first half,"
O'Dea said. "We came out sleeping a little bit. When we turned it
around in the second half, we weren't able to match the damage they
had done. Once you get in a hole to Long Beach Wilson, you're not
going to get out of it."
The Sea Kings, playing their first road game of the season, came
out strong in the third quarter, outscoring the Bruins 4-2 to pull to
within 13-7. Two meter Tom Money netted three goals in the quarter
and finished with a team-high five goals.
"He was our standout," O'Dea said. "He showed up to play for four
Corona del Mar, ranked fourth in CIF's Division I, outscored
Wilson 6-5 in the second half. Matt Jones, Ryan Hultman and Greg
Sanford came off the bench to give the team a spark.
"One positive thing was a lot of guys got playing time today,"
O'Dea said. "And some of those guys really showed me something. The
other thing is we could have come out in the third quarter and
folded. I'm glad we didn't shut down."
Long Beach Wilson scored 11 goals in its first 12 shots to open the game, including several breakaway goals on counterattacks.
"They moved better than us on defense," O'Dea said.
"We were just swimming a lot more and counterattacking a lot
better than we did against Newport Harbor," Sagehorn said. "If we
play like this against Newport Harbor it'd be a lot closer."
Corona del Mar (1-2) puts this game down as a learning experience
and moves on. The Sea Kings open the South Coast tournament Thursday
with a 4 p.m. game against Mission Viejo at Corona del Mar High. A
victory could land them in the second round later that night against
Long Beach Wilson 16,
Corona del Mar 9
Score by Quarters
LB Wilson 7 4 2 3 -- 16
Corona del Mar 2 1 4 2 -- 9
Corona del Mar -- Money 5, Murphy 3, Kent 1. Saves -- DiGiacomo 2,
Long Beach Wilson -- Sagehorn 6, Wooten 3, Artukovich 3, Wright 1,
LaBounty 1, McKeon 1, Walter 1. Saves -- McIntosh 3.