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CdM loses high-scoring battle

Boys' Water Polo

Sea Kings edged, Coach O'Dea calls for defensive improvement after setback to Wilson.

September 18, 2012|By Matt Szabo
  • Corona del Mar High's Kyle Trush struggles for possession of a ball against Long Beach Wilson's Ian Decker (1A).
Corona del Mar High's Kyle Trush struggles for possession… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

LONG BEACH — With 13 seniors and one junior on his roster, maturity is not a problem for Corona del Mar High boys' water polo coach Barry O'Dea.

After watching his Sea Kings lose a 16-15 back-and-forth contest to Long Beach Wilson on Tuesday at Belmont Plaza, O'Dea talked about needing to get better defensively.

But it was not an angry observation, just a matter-of-fact one.

"They just need to figure out what their priorities are in a game," O'Dea said. "Is it offense and scoring goals, or are we going to put a little more effort into playing some defense? And they're smart enough; that's where I trust them. There's a lot more trust on my part, with this senior group. They'll figure it out. I'm not concerned about it, to be honest with you, right now."

The one-goal game was not a surprise. The Sea Kings' first two meetings with the Bruins last year went to overtime, and the last one was a 7-6 Wilson win in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 championship game.

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Now both programs are back up in Division 1. CdM came into the game ranked No. 5, with Wilson right behind at No. 6. Both teams certainly appear to be potent offensively.

They traded blows in the first half Tuesday, neither team leading by more than a goal in the first half. But Wilson (2-1) got some separation in the third quarter. Murphy Slater scored twice in a three-goal run that pushed the Wilson lead to 12-9 midway through the quarter.

True to a team with all of those seniors, CdM (1-1) did not panic. They actually got a key call in their favor when senior Reid Chase drew Irving's second kick-out at two meters. Irving was then ruled to have interfered with the ball before swimming out, which meant he fouled out of the game.

"The ball hit him in the head!" Wilson Coach Tony Martinho said to a referee, protesting the loss of one of his best players.

CdM took the momentum. Chase, who had a game-high six goals, scored on the ensuing penalty shot. Then Jack Harryman scored on a power-play to pull CdM back within 12-11, where the Wilson lead stood after three quarters.

But Wilson senior Jackson Kimbell scored on a penalty shot early in the fourth quarter, then Slater, a junior who had a team-high five goals, skipped in a shot from seven meters. Suddenly, the Bruins had their cushion back.

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