Laguna Beach surprised some of the section's top water polo teams at the Villa Park tournament by reaching the championship game, but the Artists couldn't pull off a final upset and fell to Villa Park, 9-4, Saturday at Villa Park High.
In a tournament featuring six of the top-10 teams in the county, fifth-ranked Villa Park (14-3) and unranked Laguna Beach (11-4) advanced to the final. No. 2 Costa Mesa, No. 4 Capistrano Valley, No. 7 El Toro, No. 8 Esperanza and No. 9 Santa Margarita were eliminated.
Villa Park tournament MVP Joey Pacelli, who had seven goals in an 11-8 semifinal victory over Esperanza, scored four goals and Kyle Baumgarner added three for Villa Park (14-3) Saturday. The Spartans, ranked fifth in the Southern Section Division I, held the Artists (11-4) scoreless until 2 minutes 15 seconds remained in the third quarter.
Laguna Beach played its best earlier in the tournament, beating Costa Mesa, top-ranked in Division II, in the quarterfinals before defeating Bell Gardens in Saturday's semifinals.