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Colton shows El Toro the way to win
High school water polo.
El Toro's boys water polo team features only one returning starter from last season.
While that might not sound impressive, the lone returning starter is one of the best players in Orange County who also makes his teammates better.
Joey Colton showed just that Thursday night at the Villa Park Classic at Esperanza.
The senior dished out seven assists and scored three goals in the first half to propel the defending tournament champions past a shorthanded Troy, 18-7, in a second-round match.
No. 8 El Toro will play the Mater Dei JVs in the quarterfinals on Friday at 6 p.m. at Esperanza.
Mater Dei's JV defeated Rio Americano of Sacramento's varsity, 9-8, in another second-round game.
Colton's first-half production helped the Chargers (8-2) sprint to a 10-2 lead after two periods. He put on a show for the Princeton coaches in attendance.
Colton capped his first half but tossing in a mini-hook shot from about 6 meters at the point when the goalie wasn't looking. He kept the ball on the water before quickly releasing the ball.
"The kid is amazing," Troy coach Justin Link said of Colton.
Colton, a four-year starter, said while he is still adjusting to playing with new starters, he has talent to work with.
"If we can play well, we're an amazing team," Colton said. "I think it's something that people don't realize but I realized from playing with these guys.
"I've seen some insane stuff from these guys. There's lots of talent on this team."
El Toro's defense sparkled in the first three periods, allowing three goals against Troy (8-2), which was minus two starters.
Junior goalie Byron Rivers had 16 saves.
"He's Garrett Danner's little brother," El Toro coach Brett McCleave said, referring to the Chargers' former standout now at UCLA.
Matt Roche helped pace El Toro's offense with six goals.
Lucas Johns, Christian Ampe and Josh Mundell each added two goals apiece for El Toro.
Troy's Joe Feaster and Trent Samaha each scored three goals.
El Toro is coming off a quiet South Coast Tournament last weekend. The Chargers lost in the second round to Long Beach Wilson and then lost short-handed to La Canada.
"It taught us a couple lessons ... and we've been picking it up since then," Colton said. "A lot of about composure, and making sure we're working as a team, and working for each other."
MATER DEI JV RISING
Mater Dei’s JV team beat a Rio Americano (9-2) team that captured the Schmitt tournament and finished second at the Roche tournament earlier this season in Northern California.
Sean Duncan scored from center to give the Monarchs a 9-7 lead with 4:14 left in the fourth and goalie Jon Van de Velde helped seal the victory with two key saves in the final three minutes. Van del Velde, a sophomore, has played for the U.S. cadet team.
"(Friday) is going to be a tough game," Mater Dei JV coach OJ Vasquez said.
In another second round game:
No. 5 Dana Hills 11, King of Riverside 9: Marko Asic scored three goals and Matt Bridges made seven saves to help the Dolphins advanced to Friday night's quarterfinal against La Canada at Aliso Niguel at 6.
La Canada advanced with a second-round victory against Carlsbad.
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