Segerstrom and El Segundo fight for the ball during Saturday's final at the Newport Rib Company Classic at Costa Mesa.

Segerstrom hopes to build off title-game loss


Segerstrom’s boys water polo program knows the bumps en route to the summit can build strength.

The Jaguars hope that is the result of their adversity Saturday night at the Newport Rib Company Classic.

The top-ranked team in CIF-SS Division 6 sprinted to a quick three-goal lead in the finals against Division 4 contender El Segundo but couldn’t hold on in a 12-9 loss at Costa Mesa.

“This was a good experience,” Segerstrom coach Tim Fredericksen said. “It will be a positive experience for us in the long-run because it will teach us when things get out of control, you have to keep your cool.”

After impressive goals from Christian Manalo, freshman Jose Barajas and Seth Chavez opened a 3-0 lead against El Segundo (9-2), the Jaguars (5-2) struggled to slow the Eagles’ attack.

Despite playing without any reserves for most of the final 2 1/2 periods, El Segundo earned several power-play chances and didn’t waste them. The Eagles, tied for third in Division 4, finished 7 for 12 with the extra attacker.

Nick Paz paced El Segundo with four goals.

The Eagles’ man-advantage helped them take the lead for good in the second quarter. El Segundo also lost its center to a game ejection in the period.

The Eagles had only one reserve for the game, so the ejection left them without a player on the bench. El Segundo also had another player foul out with 51 seconds left in the fourth, leaving them briefly with five field players.

Segerstrom found some success from the perimeter but not enough. Balsam Boudiab and Barajas each finished with two goals while goalie Chris Sanchez made eight saves.

The Jaguars went 1 for 6 on the power-play.

Segerstrom’s run to the Division 7 title two seasons ago included the loss of center Jonathan Cubillo to a cut hand in the semifinals.

In the third-place match:

Edison 15, Costa Mesa 11: The Chargers bounced from a 15-7 loss to Segerstrom to hold off the Mustangs, who fell to El Segundo, 12-11.

In the Segerstrom Invitational:

Woodbridge 12, Hoover of Glendale 11 (OT): The Warriors captured the tournament title at Segerstrom.

In the Western tournament:

Lakeside of Lake Elsinore 9, Western 7: The Pioneers finished second at Garden Grove.

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