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CdM wakes up after half

Boys' Water Polo

Sea Kings again uninspired at start, but own second half to beat Irvine to stay perfect in Pacific Coast League.

October 04, 2011|By Matt Szabo
(Steve Georges /…)

CORONA DEL MAR — Corona del Mar High boys' water polo Coach Barry O'Dea has said that he has a deep team.

At one point during the third quarter of Tuesday's Pacific Coast League game against visiting Irvine, he proved it. O'Dea executed a six-for-six substitution, putting in a whole new "line" of Sea Kings.

Common in hockey, a bit less so in water polo. But it was just part of a total team effort for the Sea Kings.

Ten different CdM players scored as the hosts dominated the second half to win, 18-6.

Senior Ben Zepfel and junior Reid Chase scored three goals each. Seniors Charlie Howarth, Ari Marks and Wes Sherburne, along with junior Kyle Trush, scored two goals each. And juniors Jack Harryman, Blake Motal, Colby Watson and Jake Wyatt each found the back of the net once.

Balance like this is not surprising to O'Dea, whose team is looking for its seventh straight league title in his tenure and 13th straight overall.

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"My starting lineup is always going to change, depending on who we're playing or what the matchups are," O'Dea said. "I don't think there are a lot of teams that can match us depth-wise."

What is more surprising is that the Sea Kings (7-2, 2-0 in league) continue to start nearly every game slow. Defending CIF Southern Section Division II champion CdM is top-ranked in Division II again, while Irvine (9-5, 0-2) is unranked. But the Vaqueros were in the game the entire first half, and trailed just 7-6 at halftime.

Only a steal and counterattack goal by Trush with 41 seconds left in the half gave the Sea Kings the one-goal lead at halftime. Though Corona del Mar never trailed, Irvine matched it shot for shot.

"[Starting slow] is a problem for us, and we're still working on solving that problem," O'Dea said. "Part of the problem is that we've missed a lot of shots. We're getting a ton of good looks, but we're not burying them early … once we get rolling we're not bad."

Irvine senior Travis Pham, who came into the game third in Orange County with 74 goals scored, kept his team in the game early. He scored four goals and had two steals.

"We just got really tired," Pham said. "We're not too deep. We didn't stick to our assignments, and we didn't help back on drops."

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