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Water polo notes: Huntington Beach one-ups Mater Dei
Huntington Beach’s boys water polo team is ranked second this week in Orange County to Mater Dei but there is something the Oilers can claim over the Monarchs.
They played two-time defending CIF-SS Division 1 champion Harvard-Westlake of Studio City to a closer score at the Santa Barbara Invitational.
“(That’s) my opinion and obviously the results show the same exact thing but we matched up against them pretty well,” Huntington Beach first-year coach Sasa Branisavljevic said.
“It was a good game for us. Harvard is a very good team obviously. It’s going to be a big challenge shutting their big guys down: (centers Ben) Hallock and Felix (Brozyna-Vilim).”
Huntington Beach fell in the semifinals to Harvard-Westlake, 11-7, while Mater Dei lost to the Wolverines, 12-3, in the tournament final Saturday at Dos Pueblos of Goleta.
Branisavljevic was especially encouraged by the Oilers’ halftime score against Harvard-Westlake. The Wolverines led, 4-2.
“It’s really a team effort,” he said.
The coach said he was especially pleased with his 2-meter guards at the tournament: Jacob Cavano, Andrew Tucker, Jason Dompke and James Vlachonassios. Center Quinten Osborne also has guarded center so far this season.
Huntington Beach and Harvard-Westlake have rescheduled their nonleague game to Oct. 3 at Harvard-Westlake.
“At this point, (Harvard) is a little bit above everybody but that gap can be closed,” Branisavljevic said. “We just need to focus on our training.”
Orange Lutheran played without rising sophomore Hannes Daube, who is observing the sit-out period because of his transfer from Newport Harbor.