Laguna girls team takes fourth in JOs

Two Laguna Beach Water Polo teams completed play Tuesday at the 44th annual USA Water Polo Junior Olympics.

The girls' 10-and-under team advanced to the third-place game and ended up in fourth place. Laguna went 3-3 in the tournament and opened with a 13-5 win against Anteater (Irvine) Saturday. In its final game, Laguna fell, 13-10, to Rose Bowl (Pasadena) in the bronze-medal game Tuesday at UC Irvine.

Laguna had defeated Rose Bowl, 7-6, in round-robin play Saturday.

Commerce won the 10U girls' title by beating Offshore (Santa Monica), 8-3, in Tuesday's gold-medal game. Commerce had defeated Laguna, 11-4, in a semifinal game Monday.

Laguna's 12U boys went 5-3 in the Championship Division tournament and finished 14th. The team was defeated, 15-9, by Commerce in its tournament finale at Placentia Valencia High Tuesday.

The 12U boys opened the tournament Saturday and scored a 10-3 win over Carlsbad at Canyon High in Anaheim.

The two teams competed in the Session 1 segment of the national tournament, which began Saturday. Competition was held in Championship and Classic divisions for each age group and games were played at various venues throughout Orange County.

"Both the girls and the boys worked extremely hard before and during Junior Olympics," said Chad Beeler, club founder of Laguna Beach Water Polo. "There were a couple unfortunate losses during the tournament but overall I think we should be very pleased with our finishes. We are looking forward to future successes."

The Laguna 10U coed, 12U girls', and 14U girls' teams are competing this week in Session 2 of the tournament. The second session started Thursday and runs through Sunday.

More than 500 teams and 8,000 athletes were scheduled to compete for national championship titles in 18 divisions.

— Mike Sciacca

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