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PHOTO COURTESY OF FOOTHILL WATER POLO
Foothill boys water polo coach Jim Brumm, far right, earned his 500th victory during a semifinal triumph at the S & R Sport tournament Saturday in Irvine. The Knights lost to Harvard-Westlake of Studio City in the final.

Foothill's Brumm earns 500th boys water polo victory

STAFF WRITER

IRVINE – Jim Brumm is a bit shy about personal recognition so when he reached a major coaching milestone Saturday, he relished how his Foothill boys water polo team delivered it, rather than his achievement.

The Knights beat San Diego power Coronado in the semifinals of the S & R Sport tournament to give Brumm his 500th career boys victory at Foothill.

Foothill, the defending CIF-SS Division 2 champion, later fell in the final to two-time defending Division 1 champion Harvard-Westlake of Studio City, 18-7, but the Knights still left the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center upbeat about their direction and an impressive coaching feat.

“It felt good because we won in the semifinals,” Brumm said of his 500th victory, which arrived in a 12-9 triumph against Coronado and his longtime friend, Coach Randy Burgess.

“It was a good game. The kids played well. … I couldn’t even tell you the last time we were in the finals of this tournament.”

Foothill (14-2) last reached the S & R final in 2004, taking the runner-up finish to Long Beach Wilson.

Brumm, a three-time CIF champion, credited his success to Foothill’s legacy before his arrival in the late 1980s and his numerous standout players.

“I came into a good program,” he said. “We’ve had great coaches here and great players. I think I’ve done a decent enough job to maybe last as long as I’ve lasted.”

Foothill got a close-up view of another star player in Harvard-Westlake’s Ben Hallock. The U.S. national team center scored seven goals in the final, including two with his left hand, and added three steals and a field block to help the Wolverines (13-0) capture the tournament for the third consecutive season.

The Knights have strong defenders in Bobby Lee and Zane Scott, but Hallock was too strong and quick to handle even when they supplied extra help. And when Foothill focused too much on the Stanford-bound senior, the Wolverines’ outside shooters and weak-side drivers capitalized.

“He’s definitely a force,” Brumm said of Hallock. “They do a very good job of getting him the ball in very tight spaces.”

Harvard-Westlake led, 8-2, at halftime and used four counterattacks to deliver the knockout in a seven-goal third quarter.

Foothill's Mike Miller with finished three goals to lead Foothill and Chas Hornecker added two.

The Wolverines will ride a 50-match winning streak into their showdown at Mater Dei on Wednesday.

"We've had some great competition and great battles the last few years, so I'm always excited to go down there," Harvard coach Brian Flacks said of the Mater Dei game. "It will be a great opportunity for both teams to see where they're at midway through the season."

Corona del Mar pushed Harvard-Westlake in the semifinals before the Wolverines posted a 14-7 victory.

"We're improving," Corona del Mar coach Barry O'Dea said. "We've had two good runs (in tournaments). ... They're not scared of anybody anymore, which is a good thing."

In the third-place game:

Coronado 8, Corona del Mar 7: Matt Moran made 10 saves and Brendan Hack and Ben Brooks each scored twice for the Sea Kings (10-5), but the Islanders (12-3) held on behind goalie Riad Hallal (nine saves).

Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton defeated Miramonte, 13-11, for fifth place while Newport Harbor claimed the consolation title.

Contact the writer: dalbano@ocregister.com


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