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Winter notes: Canyon's Ewing piling up good results
Canyon wrestler Ethyn Ewing worked extensively to get ready for this season, and it has paid off with good results in the first month of tournaments.
Ewing, who finished ninth at the CIF-SS Masters Meet last year, opened this season by finishing second at the El Dorado Invitational on Dec. 5. He has since finished first at the La Costa Canyon Classic and the Mann Classic, which ended Saturday.
Even in tough spots, he has found a way to succeed. He summoned the energy to ride out top-seeded Bobby Miguel of Clovis West for 30 seconds to win the title at the Mann Classic.
“I rely a lot on my conditioning,” Ewing said. “My game plan is always to push the pace and wear those guys out first. I’m able to move around from there. My mind is calm, my body is fired up, stay low and do what I do.”
Ewing trailed, 3-1, heading into the third period of the Mann Classic final against Miguel. He scored a takedown to tie the match and force it to overtime.
“My game on my feet and my angles of attack have improved so much,” Ewing said. “Getting heavy on the head, moving, faking, level changes, speed changes ... Llast year, I was able to react and sprawl quickly. This year, my shot defense has improved and helped me a lot.”
Ewing is ranked 10th in the state at 138 pounds. He is 1-1 against Calvary Chapel’s Johnny Knowles, who is ranked eighth at the same weight.
“He’s been in these close one-point matches against high-level wrestlers the last year, and he’s finding a way to win them now,” Canyon coach Rich O’Connor said. “When he wins the one-point, two-point matches, I don’t know who can beat him.
“His work ethic and his dedication is clearly showing, and he’s at a level right now that I haven’t seen. He wants it.”
Peter Abe will be the football coach at the new high school, Portola, that will open in Irvine in the fall of 2016, the school announced Friday.
Portola will field a freshman team in 2016, freshman and junior varsity teams in 2017, and will play its first varsity season in 2018.
Abe in recent years has been an assistant coach at Villa Park. He previously was an assistant coach for 12 years at Irvine, his alma mater.
-- STEVE FRYER
El Toro, ranked No. 8 in CIF-SS Division 1, will try this week to win the six-team South Orange County Classic for the fourth consecutive season.
The Chargers, who host the tournament, will play Central of Fresno today at 5 p.m. at El Toro.
Santa Margarita and University meet today at 1 p.m., followed by Mission Viejo vs. Corona del Mar at 3 p.m. Those two games will be played at Mission Viejo.
The tournament championship game is Wednesday at El Toro at 3 p.m.
Last season, the Chargers defeated Mission Viejo in penalty kicks in the championship match. Mac Hutchins stopped the last of the Diablos’ PKs to secure the triumph.
Hutchins will be back in goal for the Chargers this week. He helped the Chargers shut out four of their first five opponents. …
Valencia’s Noah Engsrtom scored five goals in four games to move into a tie for fourth place, with Fountain Valley’s Chico Cardena, on the county leaderboard heading into this week week.
Engstrom had a three-goal performance in a 4-0 victory against Esperanza in a North Orange County pool-play match.
Alexis Martin Del Campo scored two goals last week for Valencia in a 2-0 nonleague victory against Sunny Hills. He has six goals this season.
Godinez senior Bryan Ibarra leads the county with 12 goals.
-- DAMIAN DOTTORE
GIRLS WATER POLO
Orange Lutheran’s girls water polo team is focusing on the process after close losses against two of the the top squads in CIF-SS Division 1.
The Lancers fell to No. 1-ranked Laguna Beach, 5-2, at the Santa Margarita Showcase on Saturday, and lost to San Marcos, 10-9, in the final of the Villa Park Classic the previous weekend.
“We’re where we want to be (at this point),” Orange Lutheran coach Steve Carrera said.
“Our thing is to get that mentality that we feel we’re the best team. … That takes time. It doesn’t happen because you have a lot of talent. ”
Orange Lutheran has two players - sophomore attacker Alyse Tyler and left-handed Maddie Vincent - who become eligible next month.
The Lancers could encounter more challenges next week at the Holiday Cup. They’re seeded first in the Newport Harbor bracket, one spot ahead of Foothill.
Laguna Beach is seeded first in Corona del Mar group for the 16-team tournament, which runs Dec. 29-30.
Carrera said he believes Laguna Beach is playing with confidence and motivation.
“A lot of people are doubting how good they can be,” Carrera said of the Breakers. “They’re playing out of their minds.”
Western had four medalists at the Lady Warrior Classic at La Puente High on Saturday.
Cindy Hernandez had the best finish for Western, ending up fifth at 137 pounds. Ariana Trinidad was eighth at 111 pounds, Aracely Cruz was seventh at 116. Jumela De La Cruz was eighth at 143.
Magnolia’s Yustine Gomez was eighth at 137 and her teammate, Evelyn Pablo, was sixth at 235.
Kimberly Perez of Katella was fourth at 170 pounds.
San Clemente’s Amara Devericks and Aliso Niguel’s Tristyn Bretana were fifth and sixth, respectively, at 189 pounds.
-- DAMIAN CALHOUN
Sunny Hills defensive back Malcolm Dixon has committed to Yale, Lancers football coach Pete Karavedas said. Dixon was heavily recruiting by most of the Ivy League schools but picked Yale over Harvard and Princeton. ...
Three girls water polo players - Yorba Linda’s Amy Castellano (Princeton), Edison’s Julie Harrison (Harvard) and Laguna Beach’s Keira Dailey (Sonoma State) - recently made commitments.
-- DAN ALBANO