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Boys' Water Polo: CdM moves forward

Sea Kings start strong and top San Clemente in CIF first-round match.

November 07, 2012|By Matt Szabo

CORONA DEL MAR — The Corona del Mar High boys' water polo team has been swimming a longer course in practice this week.

"We've been swimming 30 meters all week," senior Reid Chase said Wednesday night. "We're in the best shape of our lives right now; we're just swimming really well."

CdM assistant coach Ryan Bailey, the former UC Irvine All-American and a four-time Olympian, chimed in as he sat nearby.

"Don't give away our secrets," Bailey said to Chase.

The Sea Kings are not a secret to the other teams in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. Coach Barry O'Dea's players feel like they are playing their best water polo at the end of the season.


That continued Wednesday, as CdM topped San Clemente, 12-6, in a first-round match at CdM.

"I think we did an awesome job on our transition defense," O'Dea said. "They were swimming really well. They looked great on defense, and I thought they were moving well in the water. We put a good two weeks of training in, getting ready for this. It might be the best we've looked, moving-wise, all season."

The next match should be closer, and the opponent will be more familiar. Corona del Mar plays host to No. 4-seeded Newport Harbor in a Back Bay quarterfinal on Saturday. O'Dea said the start time may be changed from 5 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The teams have split their previous two meetings. When they played at CdM on Oct. 20 in the Battle of the Bay, Newport Harbor hung on for a 9-7 victory.

CdM (22-6) has reeled off eight straight wins since then.

"We're sharing the ball really well right now," Chase said. "In practice, we're working on the extra pass. No one's selfish right now. We're playing for each other."

It was easy to see against San Clemente (17-12), the third-place team from the South Coast League. The Tritons, who defeated Long Beach Millikan, 18-8, in a wild-card game Tuesday, have been a dangerous team lately. They shocked El Toro in league, and lost to Dana Hills by just a goal.

But the Pacific Coast League champion Sea Kings jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first quarter in this match. Armen Mavusi, Chase and Jake Wyatt all scored in the quarter. Wyatt assisted Mavusi and Chase's goals on the counterattack.

"I think our hard press at the start of the game kind of shell-shocked them in a way," said Wyatt, who scored a goal, tied a season-high with six assists and added two steals.

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