By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School’s boys water polo team ended its 2011 regular season with a 9-20 record after losing Palomar League matches Nov. 1 at Westview and Nov. 3 at Mount Carmel.
The two league losses gave Ramona a final 0-10 Palomar League record.
“Our league is tough,” said Coach Donnie Williams. “If you make any mistakes or have a bad quarter, you’re going to pay for it.”
The game against Westview was tied at a goal apiece after the first period, but the Wolverines had a 5-1 lead midway in the second quarter. Three of Westview’s second-period goals were on counterattacks.
“That kind of really did us in,” Williams said.
Ramona scored the final two goals of the first half, but the Wolverines closed the third quarter with a 7-3 lead and scored the first goal of the fourth period. The final score was 9-4.
“We had plenty of opportunities, just couldn’t convert,” Williams said. “We rushed a few shots, threw balls away, that kind of stuff. We need to be a little more poised.”
Ramona drew 11 exclusions but scored on only two of those extra-player opportunities.
A pair of transition goals gave Mount Carmel a 2-0 lead before Ramona first scored against the Sundevils. Mount Carmel ended the first quarter leading by a 5-1 margin.
Ted Dean’s successful outside shot about eight meters from the goal with approximately a minute left in the second period tied the game for the Bulldogs.
“In the second quarter we actually played pretty strong,” Williams said.
A subsequent Mount Carmel goal gave the Sundevils a 7-6 halftime lead, and four scores in the first two minutes of the third period gave Mount Carmel an 11-6 cushion. The Sundevils led by a 12-7 margin after three periods. Williams gave experience to his substitutes during the fourth quarter, which ended with Mount Carmel on the preferred end of the 17-10 final score.
“We scored some goals, but we’ve got to play consistent the whole game,” Williams said.
Ramona’s 15-player varsity roster, not including three taxi squad members who joined the varsity for tournaments, included 10 seniors.
“There’s a lot of young talent coming up,” Williams said.
The Bulldogs lost five senior starters from their 2010 team.
“It’s been a good year for us,” said Williams. “I knew it was a rebuilding year.”