Bulldog water polo beats Orange Glen, then finishes sixth in tourney
Ramona High School’s boys water polo team placed sixth in the East County Invitational tournament Oct. 2-3.
The Bulldogs won three of their five games and lost two, one of which was in a shootout.
“A lot of experience for a lot of kids,” said Coach Donnie Williams. “I think they learned a lot of things from it.”
Ramona preceded the tournament with a 14-7 victory at home Sept. 30 against Orange Glen. The Bulldogs led 3-2 after the first period but 9-2 at halftime.
“Our guys are still a little slow starting in the first quarter,” Williams said.
Williams began replacing starters with reserves, but the Bulldogs maintained a 12-6 lead at the end of three quarters.
“We were executing, we were counterattacking, we did a really good job pressing,” Williams said.
Alan Williams scored seven of Ramona’s 14 goals. Matt Yturralde, Cameron Cook and James Oneto had two goals apiece, and Nik Skinner contributed a goal.
Todd Cope didn’t score any goals against Orange Glen but had two assists and a steal against the Patriots.
“He had a big impact defensively,” Williams said.
Oneto also had two assists in the game.
“James Oneto did a good job with two-meter D (defense),” Williams said.
Ted Dean led the team with three steals and Matt Wolf had two steals against the Patriots. Ramona goalie Marlen Bernd made eight saves against Orange Glen.
Ramona’s two Oct. 2 games in the East County Invitational were played at El Capitan High School. The Bulldogs took a 15-6 win over El Cajon Valley and an 11-4 victory against Hilltop.
The large leads allowed the Bulldogs to provide experience for both reserves and junior varsity players called up for the tournament, and Ramona was also able to work on plays.
“It was a good thing for us,” Williams said.
Ramona led El Cajon Valley 8-1 at the end of the first period. Dean scored five goals against the Braves and Christian Rajcic had his first varsity goal. After Bernd made six saves in the first half, Williams put Cope into the nets for the second half of the El Cajon Valley game. Cope made seven saves in his two quarters in goal.
“He did quite well in there,” Williams said.
The Bulldogs returned to El Capitan for their first Oct. 3 game, losing 12-11 in a shootout to San Pasqual.
“We had opportunities. We just couldn’t finish it,” Williams said.
The match with the Golden Eagles was the third contest this season between Ramona and San Pasqual. In a Poway Invitational match Sept. 12 the Bulldogs won 16-15 in sudden-death overtime. A 13-8 non-league win Sept. 18 in Escondido saw the game tied after three periods despite a 7-2 Ramona halftime lead.
In the East County Invitational game Ramona led 5-2 at one point and 8-7 at the end of three periods.
“They came back just like last time,” Williams said.
Ramona expanded its lead to 9-7 in the fourth period before San Pasqual scored the final two regulation goals, the latter with two minutes remaining in the fourth period.
The teams went directly to a shootout after regulation play, and the lack of resolution through overtime play means that the CIF considers the game to be a tie in the two teams’ overall records. Each shootout goal counted toward the final score; San Pasqual scored three times in the shootout while Ramona scored twice.
The loss to San Pasqual sent Ramona to Santana High School for the day’s second game. The Bulldogs earned a 19-4 victory over Mount Miguel.
“It got a little one-sided there, even with my younger guys,” Williams said.
Cope had four goals and two assists before replacing Bernd in the nets during the fourth period, in which Cope added a save to his statistics. Since Ramona’s defense allowed the Matadors only seven shots during the game, Bernd only had two saves during his three periods in goal.
“We did a really good job pressing and denying,” Williams said.
Bernd also had four assists in three quarters. Ramona’s Chris Casteen scored his first varsity goal and ended the game with three goals. Billy Johnson and Wolff also scored their first varsity goals against Mount Miguel.
The win returned Ramona to El Capitan for the fifth-place game against El Capitan. The Vaqueros took a 5-0 first-quarter lead en route to a 10-3 victory at Ramona’s expense.
“I felt we should have won, but we ended up not playing well at all,” Williams said.
The tournament results gave Ramona an overall season record of 9-5-1 including a 2-2 Valley League mark.
Ramona’s varsity has a bye today since Del Norte High School, which opened this year, does not have a varsity team. Del Norte’s junior varsity and novice water polo teams travel to Ramona today for their first games in Ramona.
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