|Man wields hatchet, holds off police||702 Cass Street, Wapakoneta|
Most Viewed Stories
No. 4 El Toro building momentum for playoffs
El Toro's boys water polo team might be shedding its inconsistent tendencies just in time for a playoff push.
The No. 4 Chargers scored the first five goals and got 16 saves from Byron Rivers to move into a first-place tie in the South Coast League with an 11-7 victory against visiting No. 7 Dana Hills on Thursday.
The reigning league champion Chargers (17-7, 5-1) suffered a rare loss to the Dolphins (15-6, 5-1) in the first round of league, but the teams are now locked atop the Division 1 league with two games remaining. Both teams play third-place San Clemente next week.
El Toro forced the tie with a fast start featuring multiple contributors.
Lucas Johns scored the first three goals for El Toro, but he was supported by three goals from Joey Colton and two apiece from Matt Roche and Christian Ampe. Ampe and Colton each added three assists.
El Toro led, 8-3, at halftime and stretched that lead to seven in the second half.
"This is the team that is scary to play," El Toro first-year coach Brett McCleave said. "We have shooters at about every position. ... Everyone wants to watch Joey Colton, which is fine. ... But I have other weapons."
Johns emerged as one of those weapons. He scored from center less than two minutes into the first period. He added another 2-meter strike for the first goal of the second period.
El Toro was stunned earlier this month by Villa Park but has rebounded with a victory over No. 2 Newport Harbor and a solid seventh-place finish at the recent North-South Challenge.
"I think we've turned a corner," McCleave said. "I'm feeling a little better."
Dana Hills went 0 for 6 shooting in the first period and hurt its chances to rally by going 2 for 8 on the man-advantage.
"It's tough to beat tradition," Dana Hills coach Matt Rosa said of El Toro. "My guys haven't quite learned that yet, but we're getting better.
Dana Hills had a penalty shot and a few other scoring chances hit off the goal. When the Dolphins fired accurate shots, Rivers was tough to beat.
"I thought Byron played exceptional," Rosa said of the junior.
The Dolphins will get a chance to bounce back this weekend at the Steve Pal Memorial Tournament.
If El Toro and Dana Hills finish tied for first in league, a coin-flip would determine the No. 1 seed for the playoffs.
In the Freeway League:
Troy 11, Sunny Hills 7: Sam Feaster made 15 saves and Trent Samaha scored five goals as the visiting Warriors (18-4, 8-0) won their 48th consecutive league match and secured at least a share of the league crown.
In the Sea View League:
Mission Viejo 23, Laguna Hills 12: Christian Macias has 12 goals and seven steals to lead the first-place and host Diablos (18-7, 7-0).
In the Empire League:
Yorba Linda 9, Cypress 6: Alex Stephenson scored seven goals, including four in the fourth, to help the host and second-place Mustangs rally from a 6-5 deficit going into the final period.