Ramona High School’s girls water polo team ended its regular season Feb. 12 with a 6-4 Valley League record, placing the Bulldogs third among the league’s six teams.
Ramona completed the regular season with a 15-12 overall record.
“I’m pretty happy with the season,” said Coach Donnie Williams. “I think we had a real good group of players, and they did a good job this year.”
What Ramona could not do was defeat the two teams that finished ahead of them in the league standings, and the regular season ended with losses Feb. 10 at Valley Center and Feb. 12 at Mount Carmel.
“They’re the two strongest teams in our league,” Williams said. The 15-5 loss to Valley Center saw the Jaguars’ Rebecca Smith score eight goals against the Bulldogs.
“We really had a hard time keeping Rebecca contained,” Williams said.
The Jaguars led 5-2 at the end of the first period and 7-3 at halftime.
“I thought we started off OK,” Williams said.
The Bulldogs did well at drawing 20-second ejection penalties in the first half but not as well converting those extra-player opportunities. Only one of five such situations resulted in a Ramona score.
“We just didn’t make goals when we should have,” Williams said.
The Jaguars expanded their lead to 12-4 after three quarters. The 14-6 loss to Mount Carmel saw the Sundevils take a 5-1 lead by the end of the first quarter.
“They really took it to us early,” Williams said. “It just took us a little bit to get going.”
Ramona closed the gap to 6-3 at halftime and scored early in the third period to narrow the margin to two goals. The Bulldogs then missed a five-meter penalty shot, and the momentum swung to the Sundevils, who ended the third period with an 11-6 lead.
During the final period, Williams inserted seniors who otherwise would not be playing. The team has nine seniors, five of whom either start regularly or are part of a rotation.