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Tritons Beat Buzzer, Villa Park Again


Villa Park Coach John Carcich didn't have much to say after watching his Spartans fall to San Clemente on a buzzer-beater for the second week in a row.

It was a questionable goal in Carcich's eyes and a bad way to end the South Coast boys' water polo tournament final as the No. 2 Tritons defeated the third-ranked Spartans, 7-6, for the title Saturday at Newport Harbor High.

"It was a bummer," Carcich said. "I'm just frustrated. It shouldn't have ended like that."

Last week, in the season-opener for both teams, Josh Hewko scored with 4.7 seconds remaining to give the Tritons an 11-10 victory. Saturday's game-winner came as the buzzer sounded and caused an emotional outburst from Carcich and his coaching staff who argued with officials over the goal.

With five seconds remaining San Clemente driver Josh Hewko took the ball on the wing and was fouled. He immediately threw the ball inside, it bounced off the post and fell in front of the goal. Spartan players stopped playing, thinking the play was dead, but James Hollywood grabbed the loose ball, spun and scored as the buzzer sounded.

"Villa Park thought the play was over," San Clemente Coach Marc Parker said. "So Hollywood got the ball and put it away."

It was the third goal scored in the final 27 seconds.

San Clemente led, 5-4, at the end of the third quarter, before Villa Park tied it, 5-5, on a goal by two-meter player T.J. Matijevich with 1:33 remaining.

Hewko took the lead back for the Tritons at, 6-5, when he got the ball alone on the wing and threw it into the far corner of the goal past keeper Jared Jones with 27 seconds remaining.

With 12 seconds remaining, Villa Park's Mark Liao passed the ball across the pool to Josh Kashuk who slammed it past Triton keeper Thomas Kadar to tie the score, 6-6.

The Spartans turned the ball over 17 times, to San Clemente's 12, and failed to convert on three man-advantage situations, thanks to a strong Triton defense, led by Rob Yeilding with five steals. Hewko led San Clemente in scoring with five goals and Kadar had 10 saves.

Matijevich scored three goals and Jones had nine saves for Villa Park.

In the third-place game:

No. 1 Newport Harbor 10, No. 5 Foothill 8--Ryan Cook scored four goals and Brandon McLain had 13 saves for Newport Harbor, which broke open a 5-5 tie at halftime and outscored Foothill, 5-2, in the third quarter. Wes Fox scored six goals for Foothill and Ian Elliott had 10 saves.

In a semifinal:

Villa Park 8, Newport Harbor 5--Charlie Fisher scored five goals and Jared Jones had six saves for Villa Park. Peter Belden scored three goals for Newport Harbor.

In a consolation game:

No. 9 Santa Margarita 10, No. 8 Esperanza 7--Junior Nick Nolan scored five goals and teammate Rob Raney three for the Eagles (9-3), who outscored Esperanza, 4-0, in the final quarter.

In the Irvine tournament:

Irvine 11, Santa Ana Valley 6--Michael Shapiro scored five goals for Irvine in the championship game. Ryan McNab had eight saves for the Vaqueros, who led, 6-2, at the half.

In the Rowland tournament:

La Habra wins twice--Using 10 goals from Gabe Pacheco and eight from Josh Jewett, La Habra (9-5) defeated Los Altos, 20-2, and beat Sonora, 14-5, in the consolation bracket.

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