OXNARD — Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal should have seen Agoura High's performance against Ventura in a Southern Section Division II girls' water polo semifinal game on Saturday at Oxnard High.
The Chargers' 10-1 victory was a demonstration of teamwork in the purest form.
The defense was as effective against the power play as it was at full strength.
DeDe Perram and Coleen Schiman alternated at holeset, and the shots fell as fast and furious as the rain that pelted the pool throughout the game.
"DeDe has a quick release and Coleen has power, she likes to turn the girls," Coach Jason Rosenthal said. "We used the first one down the pool who could get position. The team's gotten real good about adjusting to which one is in there."
Missy Gorman played in place of Cameron Pearce--who had a cold--and contributed two goals and seven of Agoura's 23 steals.
Chelsey Hutchinson gave Agoura (26-4) a 1-0 lead one minute, six seconds into the game.
Jessica Nicholas scored for Ventura 28 seconds later on a power play after a 20-second ejection of Gorman. The Cougars (17-8) had four other power-play opportunities that ended in turnovers.
"We had a lot of good shot opportunities where we were open and we just missed them," Coach Mark Schmidt said.
Perram scored the first of her three goals on a power play with 2:22 left in the first quarter, and scored with 5:54 left in the second quarter.
Schiman scored the first of her two goals on a power play with 4:33 remaining in the first half.
Agoura outshot the Cougars, 28-13, but Schmidt was not upset with Ventura's defense.
"We did get counterattacked after turnovers and I wasn't happy with that," Schmidt said. "The shots they got, they earned. We made them work for them."
Lindsay Llewellyn and Erika Clark scored for the Chargers, and Graziella Caredda had eight saves and two steals.
Shasta Kellerhouse had two saves and Addie Reyes had four saves for Ventura.
Agoura's victory, coupled with Santa Barbara's 6-4 victory over Lompoc Cabrillo, sets up a rematch of last year's Division II championship game. Santa Barbara won, 7-6, and Agoura is looking forward to the rematch.
"It was kind of a bittersweet ending, to get there and lose by one goal," Rosenthal said. "The girls have been working hard for a year and want another chance at them."
The chance comes Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Pepperdine.
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WATER POLO PLAYOFFS
DIVISION III FINAL
* Harvard-Westlake vs. Bell Gardens at Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach, Monday, 4:30 p.m.
DIVISION II FINAL
* Agoura vs. Santa Barbara at Pepperdine University, Wednesday at 4 p.m.