Youth Scene: Yankees earn first win

The Yankees got their first victory of the season Saturday by defeating the Giants, 9-7, in an exciting Major division game at Ocean View Little League.

Triples by Naeco Logan and Mauro Ballinas in the first inning led to a 2-0 lead for the Yankees. William Brooks hit a home run with Mathew Scully on base in the second to increase the lead to 4-0. The momentum continued in the third when Ballinas doubled and Luca Pantel delivered an RBI double to up the lead to 6-0.

The Giants rallied for two runs in the fourth but the Yankees scored three more runs on a double from Logan, single by Ballinas and another RBI double by Pantel.

Two singles by AJ Valle and one each by Anthony Capocciamo, Mikey Ciara and Kai Marden in the final two innings, nearly brought the Giants back.

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Minor A Division

Hot Rods 14, Bats 2: Home runs by Quentin Custodio and Ramon Lopez fueled the Hot Rods to the win over the Bats. Custodio, who ended the day with four hits, cleared the fences in the third inning and Lopez knocked his out of the park in the fourth as the Hot Rods slugged their way to a combined seven runs over the two innings.

The Hot Rod barrage in the third and fourth innings also included a Custodio inside-the-park homer, a triple by Wyatt Smith, doubles by Lopez and AJ Hurtado, and a single by Carson Jones. The Hot Rod pitching was also running on all cylinders, giving up only two hits to the Bats. Hurtado struck out eight Bats and Custodio struck out six more.

The Bats' Evan Knipe limited the Hot Rods to just one run in two innings pitched, striking out five.

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National Junior Basketball

Huntington Beach's National Junior Basketball sixth-grade All-Star team has advanced to the National Junior Basketball All-Star national finals. The tournament includes six teams representing southern, central and northern California, and Nevada.

Huntington won the 20-team Area tournament, then the 12-team Sectional tournament, to earn a spot at the national finals which will be held March 28-30 at Cal State Fullerton. The team is led by three-time All-Star, Myles C. Lopez who averages 15 assists per game and is the only fourth-grade player in the division, and two-time All-Star players Riley Sterzer and Jason Gagnon Jr.

The Huntington Beach sixth-grade All-Star team: Kaleb Plewa, Griffin Rhoads, Chase Hoglund, Riley Sterger, Jason Gagnon Jr., Myles C. Lopez, Jared Clemons, Roman DiMaggio, Jack Miller, Ben Bernstein, Jacob Hanlon, Shane Matsumae, and coaches Chris Lopez and John Hammell.

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Youth Water Polo

The Turbo Orange County Water Polo Tournament took place last weekend and the two-day event turned out to be a success for Huntington Beach-based Club Vanguard Aquatics teams.

The 10-and-Under coed team, composed of all girls, took second-place in the 10u Gold/Silver Division. The team, which went 2-2, is coached by Ellen Hayami and Kayla Crocco.

The 10U Blue team won the Platinum Division for the 10U Flight. The team won its first three games and then defeated Newport, 18-1, in the division final. The team is coached by Huntington Beach High and USA Water Polo Cadet National Team Coach Brian Anderson, and is assisted by Kalieigh Esson.

The 12U Silver team took ninth in the 12U Platinum Flight. Coached by Ryan Camps, the team won its final two games and finished 2-2.

The 12U Blue team captured first-place in the 12U Platinum flight, going 4-0 capped by a 13-0 shutout of Laguna Beach in the division final. The team is coached by Sasa Branisavljevic who is also the director of operations for Vanguard Aquatics.

The 14U Silver team took seventh, overall, in 14u Platinum Division. The team is coached by Namanja Jokanovic.

The 14U Blue team took first-place in the 14U Platinum Division. Vanguard went 4-0 and downed Newport, 19-12, in the final. The team is coached by Uros Dzelebdzic who is the age group director for Vanguard Aquatics.

The 16U boys' team placed second in the Platinum Division. The team won three games including a 10-3 win over Huntington Beach Water Polo Club, but dropped the division final, 7-3, to Rose Bowl Aquatics. Djoko Radunovic is the co-head coach of the team.

For information on Vanguard Aquatics, visit

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Camp selections made

The Olympic Development Regional Water Polo Championships were held in Orange County March 8-9, with several games played at the high school pools at Huntington Beach and Ocean View.

Athletes from throughout California came with their respective zone teams in order to compete and perform in front of the USA Water Polo Federation National Team staffs. Athletes were then selected to National Team Training Camps which will be held May 24-25. From those camps, athletes will be selected to National Teams that will represent the USA in international water polo tournaments this summer.

Seventeen athletes from Vanguard Aquatics in Huntington Beach were selected to participate at the National Team Selection Camps. The selections were:

8th-Grade-and-Under: Andy Tucker, Cameron Reagan, Copper Haddad, Garret Zaan, Jacob Cavano, Jacob Watson, Matthew Kacura, Quinn Simpson, Warren Loth.

10th-Grade-and-Under: Elias Lule, Jason Dompke, Matt Robert, Patrick Saunders, Wyatt Benson.

12th-Grade-and-Under: Ashworth Molthen, Ethan Wojciechowski, Quinten Osborne; Alex Wolf.

Three coaches from Vanguard Aquatics are Olympic Development Program coaches for the program. Sasa Branisavljevic is the Eighth-Grade SoPac Zone coach, Brian Anderson is head coach of the 12th-Grade-and-Under for SoPac and also the Cadet National Team Coach), and Djoko Radunovic is the head coach for 10th-Grade-and-Under SoPac Zone and. Radunovic also was selected ODP Coach of the Tournament after leading two teams to the finals of the regional championships.

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