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Los Alamitos teamwork produces first-round victory
Los Alamitos' boys water polo team delivered a cheer before its CIF Division 1 first-round playoff match that certainly grabbed the crowd's attention Wednesday night.
Chants of "Team-work! Team-work!" blasted from one corner of the pool to the other before giving way to a series of battle screams.
Los Alamitos' play matched the cheer as its used an unselfish offense and an intense defense to cool off surging Santa Margarita, 13-5, at Corona del Mar.
The sixth-seeded Griffins (21-7) scored three first-period goals off passes on well-executed drives toward the Eagles' cage.
Los Alamitos goalie Luke Weiser then assisted a counterattack goal early in the second with a long, dry-pass to Justin Cowan.
Chandler Jarrels added a perimeter strike after drawing a foul outside 5 meters, and Griffins were in control.
They scored the first six goals.
Los Alamitos' defense quickly crashed to 2 meters to help neutralize center Stephen Riggins and keep the Eagles off the scoreboard for the first 12:30.
Santa Margarita (20-10) entered the match coming off an 11-1 record in October.
"I was really happy with the intensity they played with," Los Alamitos coach Dave Carlson said. "They played as a team."
Jarrels scored a team-high five goals while Cowan added four, including two off drives in the first.
Max Merrill collected three assists while Trevor Lees added two.
Los Alamitos' defense also was well-balanced. All six of the Griffins' starting field players collected at least one steal while Weiser had 10 saves and two assists.
"It was the first game of CIF," Weiser said. "It was a big statement."
Los Alamitos advances to play Loyola of Los Angeles in the quarterfinals Saturday. Mira Costa has been discussed as a site.
Riley Smith scored three goals for the Eagles. Riggins added two.
In other Division 1 games:
Dana Hills 12, University 11: Spencer Likins scored off a cross-pass from Sam Pfeil with 23 seconds to give the Dolphins (23-7) their only lead and the winning goal at San Juan Hills. Dana Hills' Marko Asic scored with one minute left to knot the score, 10-10. The Dolphins play Long Beach Wilson on Saturday at San Juan Hills.
Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood 15, El Toro 11: Sophomore Johnny Hooper scored six goals and freshman Ben Hallock added five as the visiting Wolverines (20-8) handed the Chargers their first first-round exit since 1997 against a Jason Lynch-coached Capistrano Valley.
Mater Dei 21, Edison 10: Jon Walters scored seven goals to lead the host Monarchs (28-0) to their Southern Section-record 76th consecutive victory. Mater Dei plays Harvard-Westlake in the quarterfinals.
Newport Harbor 13, Servite 7: Andrew Silvers led eight players in scoring with three goals to lead the host Sailors (21-6), who played without injured Dan Stevens (ruptured eardrum). Newport Harbor plays at Corona del Mar on Saturday.
Corona del Mar 12, San Clemente 6: Jake Wyatt dished out six assists and Patrick McKenzie made 12 saves to pace the host Sea Kings (22-6).
In Division 3 first round:
Mission Viejo 15, Norco 11: Christian Macias scored six goals to help the host Diablos post their first playoff victory since 2007. Mission Viejo plays Palos Verdes in the quarterfinals Saturday.
Tesoro 16, Temple City 8: Sophomore Connor Suggs scored four goals and Dylan Chavez and Taylor Peterson each added three to pace the host Titans. Tesoro takes on Mira Costa in the quarterfinals.
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