The Edison and Fountain Valley girls' water polo teams got a jump start on the rest of the local teams in the CIF Southern Section playoffs, which began this week, by playing Division 1 wild-card games Tuesday.
And both the Chargers and Barons won to extend their seasons.
Edison hosted Northwood at the Ocean View High pool and pulled away in the second half to score a 15-6 victory over the Timberwolves. Fountain Valley, meanwhile, was a 9-4 winner over host Esperanza at Valencia (Placentia) High.
Edison broke away from a 4-3 halftime lead on Northwood by outscoring the Timberwolves, 11-3, over the final two quarters.
"We started the game a little sluggish on the offensive end, but our coaching staff kept reminding the girls that while our offense was struggling to make shots, our defense could not afford to let down," Edison Coach Diggy Riley said. "Our halftime talk was simple. Even though we were missing our shots in the first half, we wanted them to continue to shoot the ball because it was just a matter of time and the balls would find the back of the net.
"We came out in the third quarter with a sense of urgency and really looked like the Chargers of late."
Edison (16-11) shut out the Timberwolves, 5-0, in the third quarter, which was highlighted by consecutive point-blank saves by Estrella in the cage.
Junior Alys Williams posted seven goal with four steals and three drawn ejections, senior Haley Kunert had three goals, five assists and seven steals and Abby Oshiro, Jessica Becker, Natalie May, Ashley Dorman and Risa Burke each scored once. Sydni Estella had eight saves.
"It is always nice when we have balance scoring in our offense and play solid defense at the other end," Riley said. "Seven different players scored for us and both Alys Williams and Haley Kunert had a standout game us at both ends of the pool."
Northwood, the No. 3 team from the Pacific Coast League, ended its season at 17-10.
Marisa Young scored a game-high four goals for Fountain Valley (15-13) in its win over Esperanza. The Barons entered the playoffs as an at-large entry. The Aztecs were the No. 4 team from the Century League.
With wins Tuesday, Edison advanced to a first-round game Wednesday at Bay League champion Mira Costa and Fountain Valley moved on to face Pacific Coast League champ and fourth-ranked Corona del Mar. The score from both games weren't available by press time.
Edison entered the playoffs as the No. 3 team from the Sunset League. In a battle for third place Feb. 9, the Chargers outscored Fountain Valley, 6-3 in the second half, to pull away to a 10-6 win.
"Our girls came into the game with a lot of confidence after our success at the SoCal tournament and we really felt like we would win this game if we played smart and tough on the defensive end," said Riley, whose teams have not lost to the Barons during his six years as head coach. "We missed several easy offensive opportunities in the first quarter but we just kept reinforcing solid and smart defense. We knew our shots would eventually start going in.
"It is a big week for us and we are more than ready physically and mentally for the challenge."
After 22 wins, all that stood between Edison and an undefeated regular season was Los Alamitos. The teams met in a Sunset League finale Feb. 9, with Edison already in possession of the Sunset League championship. But it was Los Al that came away with its signature win as the Griffins netted the winning goal when Michael Reynoso scored in the 59th minute at Laurel School for a 1-0 victory against the nation's top-ranked (ESPN Rise) boys' soccer team.
Edison wrapped up an outright Sunset League championship Feb. 10 by defeating visiting Marina, 3-1. Angelisa Cortez scored once with two assists, Sierra Krenik and Ricci Cooper both scored for the Chargers. Kayla Perry scored for the Vikings.