Sonora's Marc Ramirez, right, blocks a shot attempt by Fullerton's Niam Schade during a Freeway League match at Sonora on Wednesday.

Sonora fends off challenge from short-handed Fullerton


When it comes to intensity and intriguing storylines, Freeway League boys water polo is tough to beat.

Sonora and Fullerton proved that again Wednesday night as the league’s new weekly showcase format filled the pool deck at Sonora.

The Raiders used a strong second half and six goals from junior Conrad Napier to hold off the Indians, 13-9, in a key match in the CIF-SS Division 4 league.

Sonora (15-7, 3-1), ranked ninth in Division 4, stayed one game behind first-place Troy (12-7, 4-0).

The Indians (12-10, 2-2) provided a considerable push despite playing without top defenders Cole Adams and Chris Frias.

Fullerton coach Mike Varela said the duo was suspended for the match because they were at Sonora’s practice Tuesday.

“They stopped by to hang out with their (club) teammates (at FLO),” Varela said. “It’s a little disappointing.”

Sonora coach Jim Sprague said the Fullerton players were asked to leave the practice but didn’t.

“Fullerton is all upset about the fact that we turned them in,” said Sprague.

“For crying out loud, the guys put it on (the Internet). … We asked them to leave and they won’t. They were here for 20, 25 minutes during practice.”

Sprague said his team would have been in trouble had Adams and Frias played.

“If (Fullerton) would’ve had those two kids, they would have beaten us,” he said. “This was a big one for us.”

Fullerton led, 5-4, late in the first half, but Napier scored on a pair of counterattack goals on assists from goalie Ben Angulo in the final 1:30 to give Sonora a 6-5 lead at the half.

Napier scored three goals in the second half and George Prado added two. Angulo finished with 10 saves, three assists and three steals after playing the final three periods in goal.

Fullerton’s Brian Schrandt fouled out with four minutes left in the third, but Ethan Foglesong (six goals) and goalie Luke Dumlao (15 saves) kept the Indians close.

In nonleague:

No. 9 Laguna Beach 15, Montebello 14: Judge Washer scored with about one minute left to give the host Breakers (11-9) a two-goal lead and they held on.

In the Sunset League:

No. 7 Newport Harbor 10, Los Alamitos 6: Joe Ferraro made nine saves to help lead the host Sailors (12-10, 2-1).

Fountain Valley 10, Marina 9: Ben Schmiesing scored five goals and Kyle Reilly added four to lead the Barons (15-9, 1-2).

In the Trinity League:

No. 1 Mater Dei 17, Servite 1: Billy Motherway (nine saves) and Nolan Strout (four) led the way for the host Monarchs (15-1, 3-0).

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