The Southland team considered the strongest entering the South Coast boys' water polo tournament isn't always the one on top coming out of it. Since the annual tournament arrives so early in the season, it offers the first chance for many of the top teams to see how they stack up against one another.
Santa Ana Foothill is the top-ranked team by The Times and the No. 1-seeded team for the 32-team tournament, which begins today with first- and second-round games at Corona del Mar, Tustin, Placentia El Dorado and Mission Capistrano Valley highs.
Foothill Coach Jim Brumm said if the Knights want to become the fifth different team in the last five years to win the title, they must have consistent play from the start.
"You have to string five good games together, that's the key," he said.
Anaheim Servite is seeded second, Newport Harbor is third and Lake Forest El Toro is fourth. Another team with a good chance of winning is the defending champion, Long Beach Wilson.
The championship game, originally scheduled for Tustin High, will be played at Corona del Mar at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Anaheim Esperanza wanted to be a good host to Foothill for their nonleague boys' water polo game Tuesday evening, so the Aztecs didn't mind letting Placentia El Dorado handle the catering.
Because El Dorado High has a longer and wider pool than Esperanza, the Aztecs try to utilize the facility of their Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District neighbor whenever possible.
The move is key to securing home games against perennial powerhouses such as Foothill, which won Tuesday's game, 9-7.
It also benefits the El Dorado aquatics program because its boosters can earn money by opening the snack bar for a few hours.
El Dorado Coach John Kolias said the arrangement can be burdensome and creates a long day, as the Golden Hawks usually practice or play beforehand.
"It's a chore," said Kolias, in his third season at El Dorado. "I had to go back there and close up shop."
-- Dan Arritt
Erica Scheywer, a junior at Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula, will join the girls' tennis team this week after initially planning to sit out the season, Coach Mike Hoeger said.
Scheywer, a Southern California Tennis Assn. junior-circuit player who competed at No. 2 or No. 3 singles last season and also played doubles, is expected to play primarily singles this year.
She could join Macall Harkins and Alex Jurewitz in that lineup beginning today against Irvine University.
-- Lauren Peterson
Tep Royster, who starts at running back for North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake, has been lost for the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in the Wolverines' season opener two weeks ago. Royster is also the starting point guard for the basketball team.
North Hollywood has won its appeal to have its boys' basketball team play in three tournaments this season. The City Section Rules Committee had earlier forced the school to take away a tournament for submitting late paper work.
-- Eric Sondheimer
Senior Liza Pasciuto of Murrieta Valley stunned herself with her 16-minute 38-second clocking to win the girls' sweepstakes race at the Irvine Woodbridge Invitational cross-country meet Saturday night.
Pasciuto, second in the state Division I final last year, was favored to win the girls' race.
But she didn't expect to slash 53 seconds from her previous best on Woodbridge's three-mile course and come within eight seconds of the course record set by Lauren Fleshman of Canyon Country Canyon in 1998.
"I felt like I was slowing down so much," said Pasciuto, who passed the mile in 5:15 and two-miles in 10:59. "I really can't understand how I just did that. I really didn't feel like I was going that fast."
-- John Ortega