Youth Scene: Ensign wins title

The Ensign eighth-grade girls' basketball team defeated Dwyer, 21-18, to win the Coastal Athletic League championship.

It was the second straight championship for the group of girls. With the game going back and forth throughout, Ensign took control late in the fourth quarter with key shots and tough defense.

Ensign ended the regular season in a three-way tie for first place and defeated Costa Mesa, Corona del Mar and Dwyer en route to the title. Ensign avenged its only loss of the season by defeating CdM in the semifinals. Ensign was led by its hard-nosed team defense, holding six of its nine opponents to under 10 points. The team included Kaitlynn Bell, Mackenzie Gaddis, Toni Holland, Sammie Yeager, Ali Bonds, Carlee Kapana, Brooke Zachary, Rachel Whitelegge, Bowie Villoria, Katie Duhoux, Hannah Doolin and Jessica Ochoa.

CdM undefeated

The Corona del Mar seventh-grade middle school girls' basketball team finished a perfect season with a Pacific Coast League Championship.

The undefeated CdM team faced Ensign in the final match at Ensign, which ended with a 38-22 win. The No. 1 seed Seaweed team set the pace of the game from the beginning and won with tough defense, its ability to control the paint and its overall team effort on offense.

Top scorer of the game Krista Andersen finished the game with 15 points and dominated the boards. Fellow post player Natalia Bruening dished off the ball several times and finished with seven assists and seven points. Point guard Ally Rosenblum handled the pressure well with controlled ball handling, few turnovers and great ball movement. She finished with eight points. Siena Sharf was very consistent with her shot, missing very little from outside. She scored eight points. The game was won, however, on the defensive end.

Kelly Tam had the difficult job of shutting down fellow Newport Lightning club player and top scorer Marina LaPuzza, who had led Ensign to many victories during league play and was unstoppable in Ensign's semifinal match against TeWinkle. Tam held her to three points. Jasmine Winters from Ensign also had a great game and finished with 11 points.

Also contributing to the CdM title were: Carly Michaels, Lauren Alvarez, Taylor Alvarez, Val Hunter, Kate Hunter, Caroline Allesandro, Lexi Osterberg and Melody Yoo. CdM's team was coached by Julia Bruening with assistants Isaias Morales and Ellie Nadal.

Carden does it

The Carden Hall girls' middle school volleyball team, the No. 3 seed in the Tri-Cities League finals, swept top-seed Calvary Chapel of Santa Ana, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23.

The girls' match featured Carden Hall eighth-grade team co-captains Paige Migliori, Colette Vigil, Kierstyn Yardley, as well as Carden players Jo Schott, Jane Slaughter and Brittany Welsh. The team also had seventh-graders Katherine Condino, Kinley Ohland and Remy Wilson helping Carden Hall to the playoff victory.

Coach Monica Stewart said that the Eagles "played incredible and played one of its best defensive matches" in the upset.

The victory was especially sweet as it has been 12 years since the program has won a championship.

Newport boys and girls win bronze

The Newport Water Polo Foundation 14-and-under boys' and girls' teams earned bronze medals by finishing third in their respective divisions at the Champions Cup in Houston Texas.

The boys beat Las Vegas, Chicago, So Cal and Commerce to qualify for the semifinals as the only undefeated boys' team. The semifinal game against San Diego Shores was the boys' only loss in the tournament, putting them in contention for the bronze medal against Stanford Water Polo. They were victorious thanks to outstanding offensive play by standout Nick Silvers, an eighth-grader at Our Lady Queen of Angels, and the rest of the starting lineup that includes Jack Mooers, Clay Davison, Jon Edson, Charlie Padden (all eighth-graders at Ensign), and Peter Seidner, an eighth-grader at Mariners Christian School. Goalie Nick Wood, protected the goal throughout the tournament, blocking tough shots in every game and assisted by the across the board great defense of his team. Wood, also in the eighth grade at Ensign, has been touted by Corey Delahunt, the boys' coach, as the best U14 goalie in the country. The team's success was achieved with the support of the entire team including Cory Kennedy, Ben Morrison, Ben Teitscheid, Scott Hockenberry, Ryan Braun, Jason Trzeciecki and Nick Schroeder.

The Newport girls were also a formidable, beating Houston, San Diego and Danville, only to be edged out of the gold-medal round by Commerce. The girls competed for the bronze against San Francisco East Bay, winning that game. Coach Ross Sinclair was proud of their play throughout the tournament. Standout goalie Carlee Kapana, and a tough-as-nails lineup that includes Ashley Quinn, Rachel Whitelegge, Chanel Schilling, Lyndsie Williams, Emily Castelblanco, Krista Schneider, Emma Erickson, Olivia Jaber, Elizabeth Groux, Samantha Garcia, Katie Kearns, Tehya Corona and Isabel Leveque were strong throughout.

OC boys win Platinum

The Orange County Water Polo Club 12U boys' team won the Southern Pacific Age Group Water Polo Tournament Platinum Division.

OCWPC competed against 12 other teams in the division going undefeated in all five of its games.

The championship team included Dylan Elliot, Jack Seybold, Luka Vasiljevic, Riley Zachary, Cooper Dolan, Luke Wyatt, Connor Lindenstadt, Myles Stapelberg, Cole Cervantes, Bennett Williams and Austin Clark. The team was coached by Peter Asic and Justin Kroez.

A Great Weekend

The Corona del Mar youth water polo program earned a championship and runner-up finish at the Southern Pacific Age Group Tournament.

The CdM 10-and-under team took first place out of 21 teams.

In the final game, CdM overcame a rally attempt from its friends and neighbors who also live on the same side of the bay, the Anteaters' 10 and under team. CdM won, 11-10.

The CdM boys featured Mitch Cooper, Alex Taxman, John Bruder, Jason Kailili, Garrett Noruse, Brandel Turner, Adam Watson, Ryan Schildwwachter, Sevan Levonian, William Snyder, Matt Mcmillian, Tate Jackson and Luke Chelf. Ted Bandaruk and Isle Anderson coached the team.

Anteaters girls win

The Anteater Water Polo Club had its 12-and-under girls' team win the Gold Division and 10-under team finish second in the Platinum Division at the Southern Pacific Age Group Tournament.

The 10-and-under team included Chloe Harbilas, Will Klein, Shane Papa, Connor McManigal, Warren Loth, Cole Fisher, Brannon Syler, Wyatt Genc, Sophie Wallace, Reagan Pfeif, Carter Britt, Spencer Wardwell, Nick Walkow, Christopher Hughes, Triton Scott, Grant Loth, Michael Paduano and coaches Marc Hunt and Jesse Briggs.

The 12-and-girls' team featured Kelly Morgan, Desiree Fracchia, Abigail Klein, Chloe Kunst, Emily Ritner, Paige Solaas, Heidi Ritner, Katherine Hess, Maddie Musselman, Giulia Knox, Lexi Paduano, Lauren Solaas, Ashley Olson and coaches Jesse Briggs and Colin Mello.

The Anteater boys' 12-and-under team finished third in the Gold Division.

The path to the championship girls included an 8-1 victory over Capo Valley, an 8-3 win over Newport, a tight 6-5 loss to Irvine Kahuna and a solid 7-3 win over second place Los Alamitos.

Seahawks strong

After an unbeaten regular season and a subsequent bye for the first round of the playoffs, the Newport-Mesa Pee Wee White football team continued its winning ways by beating the Norwalk Saints in the second round of the playoffs, 22-8.

The Seahawks first scored on a 10-yard run by Anthony Battista. The offensive push was led by linemen Danny Rodgers, Jake Jones, Will Karambelas, Will Gehl and Blake Kormos.

Cornerbacks Carson Poivre, Chase Garbers and Stephen Menzia maintained tight coverage shutting down the Saints' passing game, while Rich Vanis and Sutty Barbato came up from the safety position to stuff the Norwalk runners.

On the kickoff to open the second half, speedster Adam Freeman returned it 75 yards for the second touchdown. Poivre followed up by kicking a two-point conversion, giving the Seahawks a 14-0 lead and the Seahawks never looked back.

Continued tough defense by ends Connor Brazeel and Kobe Benter, linebackers Jack Genova and Kormos and tackle Jonathon White, kept the Seahawk leading through the second half.

Garbers, the quarterback, capped off the victory with a 25-yard pass to tight end Nick Bauer.

Stingers solid

Sohrob Goodarzy recorded a hat trick to lead the boys' 12U Stingers of AYSO Region 97 to a 4-0 playoff win.

Eric Chavarria and Jimmy Bizzell controlled the midfield. Billy Shannon was outstanding in goal, the defensive line of David Zachry, Tucker Lowell and Trenton Bashaw did not allow a single attack by the opposing team. Anthony Varela and Niko Kerr pressed and stretched the other team's defense all game long.

The Stingers lost, 2-0, in the second game against the first-place team in the league. They kept the opposing team at bay for most of the game. The Stingers fell behind, 1-0, at the half.

Hustle play of Jackson Wind was needed in the second game of the day.

McCarthy on top

The Robert D. McCarthy Team won the Newport Beach Little League Winter Ball Majors Division baseball championship. RDM finished the season with an 8-2 record.

The championship team featured Rafael Becerra, Gian Danese, Dylan Davies, Donato DiFerdinando, Justin Lloyd, Ben Marks, Josh Morrison, Conner Narayan, Kyle Petrucci, Hayden Thompson, Brandon Tse and J.P. Ziegler. Ash Narayan, Robert Danese and Dominic Petrucci coached the team.

Aim High second

The Aim High Hoops Basketball Club's sixth-grade boys' team took second place in the Swoosh Fall Classic in Anaheim in its division.

Going undefeated heading into the championship game, Aim High displayed a solid performance by defeating the Simi Valley Cagers, 57-38, Ventura Heat, 49-42 and 5 on 5 Black, 44-18, before falling short in the final.

The club was led by the stellar play of Tyler Chacon (10 points, four steals and six rebounds), Anthony Beltran (12 points,15 rebounds and three blocks), Shan Dharod (seven points and four assists), Mikey Ruiz (four points, two steals), Kyle Hatch (two points and two assists) and Chris Cox (four points, five rebounds).

Contributing off the bench, Layson Savant, Luke Vafiadis (six points and four rebounds), Cedric Jones (four points and three steals) and Kevin Ray provided key minutes and depth throughout the weekend tournament for Aim High.

The Aim High Hoops sixth-grade boys were coached by Daniel Lim.

Big hoops win

Aim High Hoops program played in the 10U division at the Swoosh Fall Classic in Anaheim. The team closed out the tournament with a convincing 28-11 victory over the PCH Spartans.

Max Goffman led the team, averaging eight points. Tarik Aliyazicioglu was the leading three-point shooter for the team with his long-range accuracy. Joey Ruiz continued his aggressive defensive play with his ball hawking shut-down defense.

Brandon Figueroa played extremely well in the tournament with contributions in steals and rebounds. Jack Garza was the leading rebounder with an average of six.

Nikyle Gould contributed (six points, five steals and five rebounds). Chase Hall had a very strong tournament with four points and three steals. Anthony Hall provided four points, four rebounds and two steals), Levi Fernandez provided stellar play with (three points and two steals).

Dolphins win title

The Mariners Christian School Dolphins sixth-grade boys' flag football team chose to save its best for last this season, as it beat Harbor Day, 22-8, in the Christian Athletic League of Orange County's championship game.

All the players contributed to a hard-fought battle against Harbor Day with quarterback Colin Pipkin leading the offensive passing attack and connecting with all of his receivers. Colin also returned a punt for a touchdown.

Seifu Pierce and Ryan Simmons both caught touchdown passes from Colin.

Even though the offense played awesome the defense deserved the game ball. Harbor Day scored over 50 points combined in the previous two games against Mariners, but this time they were limited to eight points.

Other players who made significant contributions on the field included Chandler Hunt, Richie Simons, Robbie Gehring, Parker Thurston, PJ Boyd, Spencer Lawrence, Mark Schaefer, Landon Monroe and Leyton Bond.

First year defensive coach Rob Gehring prepared the boys well and inspired them to victory.

Dolphins take crown

The Mariners Dolphins sixth-grade girls' basketball team continued its winning ways by knocking off Calvary Chapel, 16-8, in the Christian Athletic League of Orange County championship game.

The championship victory capped off an amazing unbeaten season for the Dolphins, who finished 9-0.

To get to the final game, the Dolphins beat Huntington Christian, 26-11, in the first round of the playoffs.

Contributors on the team included Hillary Beall, who dominated with her rebounding, scoring and defense. Other solid players included Kristen Allen, Kelsey Western, Hannah Graves and Kerri Pelekoudas. Jaylee Morris made a key basket in first half even though she was sick and

Katie Glavinovich performed with strong defense, rebounding and passing.

Other contributors included Noelle McHenry, Katie Ewing, Caroline Carr and Rebecca Szulga.

Coaches John Glavinovich and Dan Pelekoudas were proud of the girls' efforts.

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