Bulldogs salvage water polo week with win over Jaguars
Ramona High School’s boys water polo team played three Valley League matches on consecutive days, losing the first two contests before an Oct. 30 win at home against Valley Center.
The 10-8 win over the Jaguars, in conjunction with a 10-8 home loss Oct. 28 against Canyon Crest and a 10-5 defeat Oct. 29 at Mount Carmel, gave Ramona a 6-5 Valley League record and a 14-13-1 overall mark.
“We had a couple of bad losses during the week,” said Coach Donnie Williams.
The loss to Canyon Crest saw the Ravens come back from a 6-2 halftime deficit.
“That was really disappointing, because I thought we had them,” Williams said.
Ramona had led 2-1 at the end of the first period before taking a four-goal lead by the halftime buzzer. “Then we fell apart,” Williams said.
The Ravens scored eight unanswered goals in the third period to take a 10-6 lead while Ramona scored the only two goals of the fourth quarter. Canyon Crest scored the go-ahead goal with 2:34 left in the third quarter.
“We had a couple of opportunities real early in the fourth quarter,” Williams said. “Just missed plays.”
Williams sought to implement a different offense against Mount Carmel to foil counterattacks.
“We didn’t send as many players down to the offensive side,” he said.
With only pre-game practice under the new offense’s belt, the players were uncertain about its effectiveness and Williams returned to the normal offense. After Mount Carmel scored five of the first period’s six goals, Ramona had nothing to lose by trying out the new offense.
“It shut them down,” Williams said.
Despite having only two players on the offensive end, Ramona nearly stayed even with the Sundevils in the final three periods.
“We had plenty of opportunities. Their goalie did a good job,” Williams said.
The Sundevils led 7-2 at halftime and 9-3 after three periods.
“I thought we played well, and we learned something about ourselves,” Williams said.
The Oct. 30 match was the third of the season between Ramona and Valley Center. The Bulldogs took a 14-9 victory Sept. 11 in the Poway Invitational tournament while the Jaguars defeated Ramona 8-7 Oct. 7 in the first round of league play. Williams noted that the Oct. 30 match would have league standings implications.
“It was a game we had to win to make sure we were going to be seeded higher in league,” he said.
Although the Jaguars had a 2-1 lead at the end of the first quarter, each team had three goals at halftime. Ramona ran its normal offense during the first half before utilizing the new offense during the third period.
The Bulldogs led 6-4 at the end of the third quarter.
“That was pretty nice,” Williams said.
The new offense was modified to send a third player down the pool to prevent double-teaming. Although Valley Center scored the fourth period’s first goal to narrow the deficit to a single score, Ramona followed with its own counterattack and Todd Cope’s goal restored the Bulldogs’ two-tally cushion. Kari Gonter then gave Ramona an 8-5 lead.
The Jaguars scored the next two goals to create another one-goal margin, but Gonter then drew an ejection and made the five-meter penalty shot. Valley Center scored once again to narrow the deficit to 9-8, but Alan Williams scored on a man-up situation for the game’s final goal.
“All in all we did a pretty good job,” Coach Williams said. “The way the offense worked they didn’t get good counterattacks.”
The Oct. 30 game also honored seniors Mike Bernas, Todd Cope, Matt Wolff, Josh Wray, and Matt Yturralde.
“It was a good game for the seniors. They all got some good play in,” Williams said.
The CIF playoff selection and seeding meeting will take place Monday evening.
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- Water polo loses to Jaguars
- Water polo to honor seniors before today’s game
- Water polo girls finish season third in league
- Bulldogs beat Oceanside in league water polo contest
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