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Boys' Water Polo: CdM lead short-lived

Sea Kings struggle in second half against top-ranked Monarchs, but take positives from match.

October 13, 2012|By Matt Szabo

CORONA DEL MAR — The match could not have started much better for the Corona del Mar High boys' water polo team.

The Sea Kings scored the first two goals and saw visiting Mater Dei's starting center defender foul out. They even allowed themselves to have a bit of swagger.

After CdM senior defender Colby Watson field blocked a shot near the end of the quarter, he waved his index finger at the Monarchs like former NBA center Dikembe Mutombo used to do after blocking a shot.

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"The Mutombo finger wag," Watson confirmed after the game. "I was a little fired up in the first quarter. I mean, we all were. It felt great to have that 2-0 lead."

What the Sea Kings were not able to do, however, was put together a big enough four-quarter effort to shock the Monarchs.

Mater Dei junior Kent Inoue matched a season-high with five goals as the visitors pulled away in the second half to win the nonleague game, 13-5, at CdM.

Senior Phillip Tran added a season-high four goals for Mater Dei (15-0), the two-time defending CIF Southern Section Division 1 champion and again top-ranked this year. The Monarchs won their Southern Section-record 63rd straight match.

Corona del Mar (11-6), ranked No. 6 in Division 1, had a sound strategy for Saturday's match. The Sea Kings elected to use a heavy drop on Mater Dei senior center Jon Walters, the Monarchs' leading scorer who scored just once Saturday. But that opened up shots for Walters' teammates.

"They left Kent Inoue shooting from four or five meters," Mater Dei Coach Chris Segesman said. "At the end of the day, that's tough to defend. So it's pick your poison, I guess. Kent wasn't shooting well in the first quarter, we went down 2-0, then Kent started shooting his shots and started flowing. It changed the whole momentum of the game.

"I thought we were very impatient in the first quarter with that drop, forcing shots. As the second quarter came, we were a lot more patient and getting the right looks. Tran's a great shooter from the 4-5 side, and he put away some big shots for us. Jon's presence creates so much attention ... you have to give him that much attention. It was almost the identical drop Newport ran on us in the [South Coast Tournament] finals."

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