By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School’s boys water polo extended its winning streak to six games with wins Oct. 2 at Oceanside and Oct. 5 at home against Rancho Bernardo.
The two wins gave the Bulldogs an overall 10-4 record for the season while the 18-3 win against Oceanside at Brook Street Pool gave Ramona a 1-0 mark for Valley League play.
Oceanside won the opening sprint in the two teams’ league opener, but Cory Davison had two goals off steals in the first 20 seconds. The Bulldogs had a 5-0 lead three minutes into the game. Ramona coach Donnie Williams did everything possible to avoid running up the score, including working on tougher plays and putting his starters in other positions, but the Bulldogs still held a 10-2 lead at halftime.
Ramona’s leading scorer this season, Matteo Franchello, did not score a goal although eight other Ramona players did. One of those was Isaac Gross, who is Ramona’s starting goalie; Williams put Franchello in the nets and Gross in the field. Ryan Hall and Garrett Klem each placed four balls into the net, Davison and Jesse Reiling scored three times apiece, and Karl Schwettman, Levi Vermeulen, and Vinnie Talento joined Gross with a single goal.
“It’s a tough game to try to challenge yourself,” Williams said.
Rancho Bernardo was a Palomar League opponent last year and in 2010, but is now a non-league opponent for the Bulldogs. The Broncos scored the game’s first goal, but Ramona scored the next three to conclude the first quarter with a 3-1 lead.
“I thought they played great,” Williams said. “We were executing what we were trying to do.”
Ramona built up a 5-1 lead before three Bronco scores made the halftime margin 6-4.
“Most of those were just broken down plays,” Williams said of Rancho Bernardo’s goals.
Ramona scored the third period’s first goal.
“We started to build on it,” Williams said.
The Bulldogs led 10-6 entering the fourth quarter, although Rancho Bernardo had that period’s first two scores. The score then went to 11-8 and subsequently 11-9 and 12-9.
“They started going one for one with us,” Williams said.
Rancho Bernardo closed the gap to 13-12 with a minute left before Ramona was able to run out the clock.
“We have a tendency to let down a little bit,” Williams said. “The intensity needs to stay there at all times.”
Although Gross allowed 12 goals, he also made 16 saves. Franchello scored seven times against the Broncos. Reiling added three goals while Hall, Schwettman, and Klem each scored once.
The Bulldogs will spend Friday and Saturday at the Vellenkamp Tournament.