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Mesa keeps rolling, blasts Sage

Boys' Water Polo

The Mustangs score 20 goals for the second straight league game, easily beating Lightning.

October 12, 2011|By Matt Szabo

"[Nakhjavani] is very capable of scoring, so we really tried to key on him and take him out of the game," Taylor said. "But I think probably the biggest strength that we had going today was the counterattack. That's one of the nice things about having our pool back. We have more hours to practice, and we can start swimming again. We can swim with teams, and we're starting to outswim teams. That was just something that we didn't have time to focus on when we didn't have the pool."

Sophomore Ryan Sung had a goal and three steals for Sage Hill. Junior Jace Broderick also had a pair of steals. Norton said before the game it was all about getting his young team some experience.

"We're starting to figure out the game of water polo," he said.

Mesa has a more prestigious goal, making the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs for the first time in three years. Next week's game at defending league and CIF champion Laguna Beach should be tough. The Breakers have not lost a league game since the league was created.

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But the Mustangs play host to crosstown rival Estancia on Oct. 26. Should the Eagles defeat Sage Hill next week, it would likely set up a scenario in which the winner of the Battle for the Bell game would grab the league's final guaranteed spot into CIF.

Grandia believes Mesa will be ready.

"We've been talking and just trying to find that 'want to win,' you know?" he said. "These last couple of years, it was just, 'Oh yeah, I'm playing water polo just to play it.' But me and James [Lewis] and all the seniors, we want to have a good year. We want to go to CIF. That's like our main goal."

matthew.szabo@latimes.com

Twitter: @mjszabo

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