YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Los Alamitos Duo Enjoys Superhero-Type Season

October 03, 2000|MELANIE NEFF

"The G-Force" is a resurrected animation series playing on the Cartoon Network about young superheroes who don bird costumes and protect the earth from an evil alien computer. Created in Japan in the '70s, it was remade for the United States in 1986, where it aired briefly before disappearing until the early '90s.

OK, so where is the connection between guys flying around the cosmos in their spaceship and Los Alamitos water polo players Erik Geoffroy and Joe Gentner?

There isn't one, except that Griffin Coach Dave Carlson has nicknamed his dynamic duo after the crime fighters, mainly because both have last names that start with the letter "G".

So far, Carlson is the only one who uses the nickname for the pair, but after this weekend's Southern California Invitational, maybe it will catch on.

Geoffroy and Gentner are the backbone of the sixth-ranked Griffin squad. Geoffroy is the offensive specialist, Gentner controls the defense.

Geoffroy, a 6-4, 200-pound two-meter player, is the team's leading scorer with 55 goals. He was forced to sit out the team's last loss to San Clemente for disciplinary reasons, but came back against Long Beach Wilson with four goals in three quarters. Carlson says he has a "very hard and accurate outside shot" and has "great instincts" with his back to the cage.

"He has the best outside shot on the team, forcing teams to have to drop on him, allowing us to work on the perimeter," Carlson said. "On defense, he can guard anyone. I can plug him in anywhere I need him."

Gentner is the Griffins' two-meter defender. The 6-3, 220-pound left-hander is "incredibly strong," according to Carlson. He is in such good shape the coach rarely feels the need to substitute for him.

"He's fast and big and has very strong legs," Carlson said. "He causes the other team's two-meter players to have to work a lot harder. He can guard anyone and, being a lefty, gives us a lot of options."

Despite the balance at both ends of the pool, Los Alamitos (7-9) is floundering in the middle of a five-game losing streak. One look at the list of opponents and it's understandable why county coaches would keep the Griffins ranked among the top 10. All five defeats in the streak have been to top-ranked teams. They lost twice to the county's top team, San Clemente; once to Wilson, Division I's top team; once to Corona del Mar, the top team in Division II, and once to El Cajon Vallhalla, San Diego's top-ranked team--all by a total of eight goals.

"We need to get back into the feel of winning again," Carlson said. "We know we can play with any team out there. But now we are looking to push it up a step."

The Griffins should be able to end the slide against Huntington Beach Wednesday in their Sunset League opener, thus getting back on track before facing seventh-ranked Servite in their opening game of the Southern California Invitational.

The prize for a victory over Servite?

A matchup with Coronado, a team many coaches consider the best in the state.


North and South will battle it out in the two-day Southern California Invitational that begins Friday at Heritage Park in Irvine. Six of the county's top-10 teams, along with Irvine, Wilson, Coronado and North-Hollywood Harvard Westlake, will take on the best from Northern California.

San Jose Bellarmine, the defending CIF Central Coast champion; Orinda Miramonte, the North Coast champion; Davis, the San Joaquin Delta champion, and Fresno Clovis West, the runner-up in Northwest Yosemite, will join Carmichael Jesuit and Lafayette Acalanes from the north.

The 16-team, single-elimination tournament begins at 10 a.m. Friday. The semifinals start at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, with the championship match at 7:20 p.m.


Several league titles could be decided as early as Wednesday, when several league favorites clash.

La Habra, No. 9 in Division II, travels to No. 7 Buena Park to see who takes early control of the Freeway League. In the Pacific Coast League, Corona del Mar, the county's fifth-ranked team, plays at No. 8 Laguna Beach.

If you have an item or idea for the water polo report, you can fax us at (714) 966-5663 or e-mail us at

Los Angeles Times Articles