By JOE NAIMAN
The league losing streak for Ramona High School’s girls water polo team reached five games with Palomar League losses Jan. 24 at Mount Carmel and Jan. 26 at Poway.
“We didn’t do as well as we would have liked,” said Coach Donnie Williams.
The team has an overall season record of 11-9 and a 1-5 Palomar League statistic.
“Losses are never good, but you always learn more from your losses,” Williams said.
The 10-6 loss to Mount Carmel was the Bulldogs’ largest margin of loss against a San Diego County opponent this season while Poway scored the final goal of the Titans’ 8-7 victory with seven seconds left to play.
“They can play with anybody,” Williams said of his players. “Sometimes the confidence goes away.”
Williams noted that the school’s semester finals were also during the week, which could have had an impact on his players’ mental focus.
“It just seemed like their heads weren’t in the game like we can be,” he said.
Mount Carmel had a 4-2 lead after the first period, although three of the Sundevils’ goals came on rebounds that landed near a Mount Carmel player. “We had opportunities,” Williams said.
The Sundevils had a 6-2 halftime lead.
“The girls kept fighting back. We could never close up that four-goal gap,” Williams said.
The Bulldogs had only one ejection penalty during the game, and the Sundevils didn’t score on their extra-player situation.
“That part of our game was really great,” Williams said.
Ramona scored on one of four power plays, although the Bulldogs also made a five-meter penalty shot.
“Six to ten’s not terrible, but I know we can play with them,” Williams said. “It kind of got us down on our confidence a little bit.”
Although Poway’s win avenged the Titans’ 9-8 loss to the Bulldogs in the teams’ league opener Jan. 10, the first game was tied on six different occasions before Ramona scored the winning goal with 1:50 remaining. The second game produced a similar battle with the Titans holding a 2-1 lead after one period, the Bulldogs taking a second-period lead, and the score being tied at 5-5 after three quarters.
With three minutes left Ramona tied the game at 7-7. The Bulldogs had the ball with 20 seconds remaining, and Williams called a time out. A Poway steal led to the winning shot in the final ten seconds.
“That was a coaching mistake on my part,” Williams said. “I should have slowed it down.”
Had Ramona kept possession of the ball, the buzzer to end the fourth quarter would have sounded before the shot clock expired, so Ramona could have taken the final shot of the period and even if the Bulldogs missed the shot the game would have gone into overtime.
“It’s just one of those games that whatever we tried wasn’t going to work for us,” Williams said.
The Bulldogs will spend today at the El Cajon Valley High School pool for the San Diego Open tournament which will continue through Saturday.