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Wilson Is Served by Its Youth


Long Beach Wilson arrived at the Southern Section Division I boys' water polo championships Saturday without its usual strut. Instead, it was a handful of young, determined Bruins who combined to defeat North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake, 9-7, at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach.

The victory gave Wilson its fifth section title in the last six years and seventh overall. With only six seniors on the Bruins' 24-player roster, it's a trend many didn't expect to continue.

"That's what this is, a team, not like a powerhouse with one or two good players, like we used to have," said junior Thomas Hale, whose second goal gave the Bruins their first lead with five minutes remaining. For Coach Tony Martinho, who won Wilson's first championship as a player in 1981, then again as a first-year coach in 1999, the latest title was the sweetest.

"Most of the kids on this team started with me three years ago," he said. "They've worked extremely hard."

Wilson (23-7) finished six of 11 on extra-man opportunities. Harvard-Westlake (18-5) was four of four, but didn't have any in the second half.

Corona del Mar 16, Anaheim Esperanza 4--The Sea Kings won their third consecutive Division II title for Coach John Vargas, who will take over the Stanford program Jan. 1. Artie Dorr, Bobby Messenger and Marcello Pantuliano each had three goals for the second-seeded Sea Kings (24-3).

Whittier 9, Whittier La Serna 7--Scott Johnson and Erick Leon score four goals each to lead the third-seeded Cardinals to the Division III title, their first since 1959. Johnson had two goals in the second quarter and Leon had the other as Whittier took a 6-4 lead. David Goetz scored three goals to lead La Serna (25-8).

Matt Ortiz had 16 saves for Whittier (24-6).

Santa Barbara 11, Ventura 7--The second-seeded Dons (23-5) built an 8-2 lead by halftime and defended their Division IV title. Graeme Lee-Wingate and Craig Edelman scored three goals each for Santa Barbara, which won three out of four games this season against Channel League rival Ventura. Nick Wagner, Ben Miller and Teague Savitch scored two goals each for top-seeded Ventura (21-4).

Riverside Poly 14, Palm Desert 13--Eric Qualls scored six of his seven goals in the third quarter to lead top-seeded Riverside Poly to its second consecutive Southern Section Division V title.

The Bears (28-2) trailed, 6-3, at the half, but quickly pulled within one after scoring on three consecutive man-advantage situations to open the third quarter.

La Verne Bonita 9, La Verne Damien 2--Bonita (20-4) held top-seeded Damien scoreless in the second half to win the Division VI title, its first in five attempts.

The score was tied, 2-2, after the first quarter, but Daniel Domenici scored three of his team-high four goals in the second to give second-seeded Bonita a 5-2 halftime lead.

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