Ramona High School’s boys water polo team added two Valley League wins to its record at the expense of Orange Glen and San Marcos, although the Bulldogs only won one of five matches at the San Diego Open tournament Oct. 19-24.
The Oct. 20 win over Orange Glen in Escondido and the Oct. 21 home win against San Marcos gave Ramona a 5-3 Valley League record while the Bulldogs concluded the week with a 13-11-1 overall season win-loss mark.
“All in all the kids worked hard and played well,” said Coach Donnie Williams.
The 17-10 victory over Orange Glen gave Ramona a winning league record for the first time in 2009. The Bulldogs led 7-2 after the first period, 9-5 at halftime, and 15-6 after three quarters.
“I was trying to get everybody some playing time,” Williams said.
The fourth period showed the reserves’ need to improve their defensive coordination. While Todd Cope allowed four goals in his only period as the Bulldogs’ goalkeeper, he also had five saves in the period, matching the three-period total of starting goalkeeper Marlen Bernd. Kari Gonter’s first game of 2009 saw him score five goals against the Patriots.
The fourth-period players fared better during Ramona’s 12-6 win over San Marcos that saw the Knights score the game’s first goal before Ramona obtained the remaining four scores of the first period. The Bulldogs led 6-3 at halftime and 11-5 after three quarters.
Ramona traveled to Monte Vista High School for two Oct. 22 tournament games. The Bulldogs began the San Diego Open with a 13-10 win over Point Loma.
“We got out pretty good on them early,” Williams said.
That early lead would prove to be critical. The Bulldogs’ 5-2 lead after one period and 8-5 cushion at halftime eroded in the third period, when the Pointers tied the game at nine goals apiece before Ramona scored the final goal of the third quarter.
Ramona took an 11-9 lead in the fourth period before the Pointers once again brought the game to within one goal, although the Bulldogs accounted for the remainder of the scoring.
The win put Ramona into a bracket with all other first-round winners, and the Bulldogs’ second Oct. 22 game was against Mercer Island, the defending Washington state champions.
“They had probably the strongest single shooter I’ve seen,” Williams said.
Ramona actually scored the game’s first goal and had a 2-1 lead at one point before Mercer Island scored the game’s next four goals. Mercer Island led 8-3 after the first quarter and took a 22-7 victory over the Bulldogs.
“They’re a good team,” Williams said. “They countered hard.”
Ramona’s only Oct. 23 game was a 13-6 loss to Mount Carmel at El Capitan. The Sundevils led 3-2 after the first period and 7-4 at halftime. Ramona closed the gap to 7-5 before Mount Carmel scored the other four third-period goals.
“In the third quarter we just really struggled,” Williams said.
Ramona’s two Oct. 24 matches were at Granite Hills High School. The first was a 15-12 loss to Escondido.
“We were playing catchup in a big way,” Williams said.
The Cougars led 6-1 after one quarter and 10-6 at halftime. Kevin Dunn had five of Escondido’s first-half goals and scored eight during the match.
“The first half we really struggled to stop him,” Williams said.
Ramona narrowed the gap to 11-9 by the end of the third period and scored the first three goals of the fourth quarter to take a 12-11 lead. The Cougars then scored the final four goals of the game.
Ramona concluded the San Diego Open with a 16-7 loss to La Costa Canyon.
“They came out and took it to us,” Williams said.
The Mavericks scored the first two goals, but Ramona tied the game at three tallies apiece before La Costa Canyon posted the final score of the first quarter. The Mavericks led 6-5 at halftime before taking a 13-6 lead by the end of the third quarter.
“We just didn’t do anything right in the third quarter,” Williams said.
“It was a long week and the kids played hard,” Williams said. “I felt we could have won every one of those games except the Mercer Island game.”
The Bulldogs will have a rematch with Mount Carmel today in Valley League competition at Mount Carmel and will host Valley Center tomorrow.