Dons reach South Coast semifinals

The Santa Barbara boys water polo team made history on Friday night by taking out Corona del Mar 10-7 to advance to the South Coast Tournament’s semifinals.

Coach Mark Walsh has had some great teams, yet none advanced this far in arguably the season’s most prestigious and competetive tournament.

Walsh’s 2006 CIF-champion team lost only three times that year but got beat at the South Coast in the quarters.

“It was our best performance of the year,” said Walsh before admitting there’s more work to be done. “We’re excited that we’re in (the semifinals), but we’re also excited for the opportunity to play for the title.”

 The Dons face Los Alamitos, No. 1 in Division I,  in Saturday’s 10:40 a.m. semifinal. The winner plays the survivor of El Toro and Foothill.

Santa Barbara jumped out to a 4-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and never let the Sea Kings get within two goals. Ian Gamble led in scoring with 3 goals. Nick Sklar added 2 more, and Parker Peterson, Jason Masho, Jeff Churchman, Brandon Cowan and Brendan Kerwin-McElroy all had one.

Dos Pueblos’ run ended in the quarters after a 10-7 setback to Foothill. Head coach Chris Parrish said that the Charger defense, which had been solid in previous tournament victories over University and Riverside Poly, let up for just a couple of minutes in the second quarter and it cost them on Friday against Foothill.

Kevin Cappon recorded three goals on 3-for-5 shooting and Chase Racich also had two goals. Parrish said the Chargers were getting plenty of shots on the offensive side but Foothill’s goalkeeper was stopping just about everything.

The Chargers, ranked No. 7 in Division 1, will be playing for a fifth place finish on Saturday. DP starts off against the Sea Kings of Corona del Mar at 9:35 a.m. in the Newport Harbor High School pool.

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