COSTA MESA — When things become stagnant, the Costa Mesa High girls' water polo team suffers.
The Mustangs play best when they can count on the counterattack.
They did it in the second half Wednesday afternoon, playing together to ensure the Battle for the Bell game was theirs, 15-7, over cross-town rival Estancia at the Eagles' pool.
Costa Mesa (13-11, 3-1 in league) earns second place in the Orange Coast League, its only loss coming to champion Laguna Beach. Estancia (10-14, 2-2 in league) finishes third.
Both teams earn berths in the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs; brackets will be released Sunday.
The Mustangs have more open water now that they have a 50-meter pool on campus. But even at Estancia they performed their best on the counterattack, swimming away from the Eagles after holding a tenuous 7-5 halftime lead.
Sophomore Kellie Thorsness had a game-high four goals and senior Sydney Rosello found the back of the cage three times, also drawing four exclusions. The Mustangs also spread the ball around; their seven first-half goals came from seven different players.