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Ocean View finds way past Los Amigos
Thursday night's boys water polo playoff match between Ocean View and Los Amigos appeared to have all the makings of a close match.
Both teams finished atop leagues considered to about the same strength. Los Amigos was ranked seventh in the final Division 7 poll; Ocean View eighth.
But the players also knew there was another reason the score might be tight. Some of the players knew each other from playing club over the summer for Riptide. There would be few secrets.
All indicators proved correct.
Zack Cosner scored on a redirect with 1:59 left in the fourth period to help lift the Seahawks past the Lobos, 11-9, in a rainy, first-round Division 7 match at Garden Grove.
Cosner scored on a slick pass from Cody Basford to give Ocean View (20-9) an 11-9 lead. The Seahawks then used steals by Jordan Salgado and goalie Brian Smith to seal the victory and bragging rights.
Smith also finished with 15 saves.
Boys water polo playoff: CIF Central
In a sign of the players' friendly rivalry, Los Amigos standout Chris Fausto and several Ocean View players hugged as time expired. The players know each other from club.
"It was fun," Fausto said of the duel. "It was a pretty clean game. No one was trying to hurt each other too much."
Fausto said Ocean View, co-champion of the Golden West League, wanted the victory more than the Garden Grove champion Lobos.
The score was locked, 5-5, at halftime but Ocean View used a 4-0 sprint in the third to open a 10-6 lead.
Ocean View's passing sparkled in the surge. Basford scored twice off passes from lefty Glenn Baumann. He put away a pass on the power-play and another on a drive.
Basford then fed Baumann with an entry pass into 2 meters for a goal and a 10-6 lead late in the third.
"This game," Baumann said, "we had good passes."
Los Amigos (10-13) trimmed Ocean View's lead to 10-9 on a goal on a backhanded shot from center by Joshua Iligan with 3:20 left in the fourth but Ocean View's passing sealed the victory.
Basford's dish to Cosner punctuated the night.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, my adrenaline was an 11," Basford said.
Ocean View's defense also held in the fourth period against two power-play chances by Los Amigos coming out of timeouts.
Salgado, an emerging sophomore, and Basford each scored three goals. Los Amigos' Fausto and Davis Phan -- both of whom played for Riptide - scored three and two goals, respectively.
Ocean View advances to play Cypress, a 15-4 winner against Colony of Ontario, in the quarterfinals Saturday.
Goalie Bryce Mattson made 14 saves for the Centurions against Colony.
In other Division 7 games:
Yorba Linda 10, Ramona of Riverside 8: Connor Aguilera made 17 saves to help lead the visiting Mustangs, who play No. 2 seed Don Lugo in Saturday.
Segerstrom 16, Chino 7: David Molina scored four goals as the host Jaguars won their first playoff game. Segerstrom takes on top-seeded Citrus Valley in the quarterfinals.
In Division 4:
Troy 14, Downey 6: Drew Eastman and Joe Feaster each scored three goals to lead the Warriors (24-6) in a first-round game at Splash Regional Aquatic Center. The Warriors play Arroyo Grande in the quarterfinals.
La Habra 15, El Segundo 14: Blake Ruschman scored a go-ahead goal with 52 seconds left to help the visiting Highlanders (18-9) avenge an earlier loss against the Eagles. La Habra plays top-seeded Righetti on Saturday.
In Division 2:
Foothill 16, Westlake of Westlake Village 6: Chris Brose and Chase Woollett each scored four goals to help pace the Knights (18-9). Foothill plays the Damien-Chaparral winner in the quarterfinals.
Laguna Beach 16, Claremont 4: Maxx McCarter had 12 saves and while Caleb Scott and Aki Andersen added four steals for the host Breakers. Laguna Beach plays at Murrieta Valley on Saturday.
Royal 11, Villa Park 9: Gunnar Abato scored four goals and Anton Ketterer added three for the Spartans, who fell at Foothill.