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Newport unleashes Power(s) play to claim championship

August 05, 2002

Roger Carlson

CORONA DEL MAR -- It's a team game and it was a team victory, but

emerging from a crowd of standouts in the Newport Water Polo

Foundation's championship conquest Sunday at Corona del Mar High was

Jeff Powers, who shared Outstanding Player laurels with teammate Ryan

Bailey after an 8-5 decision over defending champion New York

Athletic Club at the U.S. Nationals Men's Senior Water Polo

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Tournament.

"We did what we had to do," said Newport Coach Ted Newland

following his team's systematic conquest of New York before a water

polo-savvy crowd of 400.

Newport never trailed, led by three goals (5-2) at halftime, and

maintained at least a three-goal cushion through the second half as

Powers (five goals), Bailey (two goals), Omar Amr (one goal), Marc

Hunt, Robert Lynn, Dan Klatt and goalie Genai Kerr (eight saves) gave

New York little breathing room.

New York, which failed on five of six power plays, tried to turn

the tide in the fourth period with several incidents of defensive

overplay, such as spring-boarding off Bailey's body in the hole, but

it hardly caused a ripple in the continuing domination of Newland's

champions.

It all seemed rather anticlimactic, considering the tournament's

most exciting game had come in the morning when Newport escaped with

an 11-10 overtime victory over Stanford, coached by former Corona del

Mar High Coach John Vargas.

New York had already qualified with a 6-4 semifinals victory over

Malibu, and Newport appeared to have things its way in the early

going, jumping to a 5-2 lead late in the second quarter against

Stanford.

Stanford, however, with its regular-season squad intact, worked

hard to pull even at 6, 7 and 8, and took a 9-8 lead with less than

three minutes to go.

Newport fought back with a tying goal with 1:31 left on a Dan

Klatt score, then held Stanford off in the final 13 seconds of

regulation to force the overtime.

"We had weathered the storm (early) and I knew in the second half

our counter, counter, counter would take its toll," said Vargas.

With a finals berth on the line and little room for continued

mistakes, Powers got inside for a goal in the first overtime, then,

near the two-meter area, he took a no-look pass from Amr in the

corner and extended it into a quick goal to make it 11-9 early in the second three-minute overtime session.

Stanford again fought back with a goal, and in the fading seconds,

had possession, only to be turned back by a block by Powers at

mid-court with no time left.

"I thought this might be a two-goal or three-goal game," said

Newland. "We just lost some discipline."

Powers had five goals against Stanford and Bailey and Klatt each

scored twice. Amr and Evans also scored.

Tony Azevedo, the dazzling sophomore out of Long Beach Wilson

High, led Stanford with four goals.Jeff Guyman and Jeff Nesmith each

scored twice, and Reed Gallogly and Peter Hudnut each had a goal.

The tournament featured nine athletes with Olympic Games

experience and was a virtual presentation of Olympians for 2004.

Among the standouts from the 16-team field were Mike Evans, Kirk

Evenist, Wolf Wigo, Gavin Arroyo, Jeremy Laster, Dan Hackett, Sean

Kern and Robert Lynn.

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