TOC: Dons edged by Newport in quarterfinals

There was plenty of drama on the first day of the 15th annual Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions, and the host Dons were in the thick of it.

Jessee Ransone scored in overtime to lift the Santa Barbara girls water polo team to an 11-10 win over Montebello in Friday’s opener. Ransone finished the shot after taking a feed from Jessica Gaffney.

In the quarterfinals, Santa Barbara led for all but 10 seconds in its match with Newport Harbor. The Sailors’ Kate Pipkin made a nice fake and whipped a shot past goalie Sienna Goggia with 10 seconds left to edge the Dons 10-9. It was Pipkin’s only goal of the game.

The loss knocked Santa Barbara into fifth-pace semifinal matchup with Mater Dei at 9 a.m.

In other dramatic moments on the opening day, San Clemente upset No. 1-ranked Foothill, 7-6, in overtime and Agoura stunned Los Alamitos 7-6.

Saturday’s semifinals will pit top-seeded Laguna Beach against San Clemente at 11:10 a.m., and Newport Harbor against Corona del Mar at 12:15 p.m. Both matches are at Santa Barbara’s pool.

The championship is at 4:35 p.m.

Santa Barbara High vs. Montebello

Betsy Hendrix takes a shot while be pressured by Montebello’s Ashley Ramirez

San Marcos split its two matches on Friday. The Royals opened with an 8-6 loss to Santa Margarita and bounced back to beat Santiago, 13-7. The’ll play Foothill at 11:10 a.m., at Dos Pueblos in a consolation semifinal game.

Dos Pueblos went 0-2, falling to Corona del Mar, 14-8, and Murietta Valley, 8-5. The Chargers play El Toro at 10:05 on Saturday.

Betsy Hendrix scored five goals and Anna Brummett had two goals and four assists against a tough Montebello team. Sienna Goggia made 10 saves.

Against Newport Harbor, the Dons took an 8-6 lead when Hendrix beat Sailors’ goalie Cleo Harrington from long range.

Newport’s Chanel Schilling scored to make it 8-7 going into the fourth period. Rachel Whitelegge knotted the score for the Sailors but Santa Barbara came back and got a tough goal inside by Kristina Garcia to put the Dons back on top, 9-8.

After Ellie Reed equalized for Newport, the Dons got the ball inside again but Harrington was up to the challenge and blocked a point-blank attempt.
The Sailors called a timeout to set up a play. They got the ball to Pipkin, who faked like she was dunked, popped up and buried the game-winning shot.

“I thought we played great,” Santa Barbara coach Mark Walsh said. “We led or tied the whole game. They led for 10 seconds.”

Walsh noted that Newport has two of the best goalies in high school water polo

“We scored nine on them, which is a ton. But they blocked a penalty shot and four one on ones.”

Jessie Brummett played a strong game for the Dons with two goals, three assists, four steals and three drawn ejections. Garcia and Hendrix each scored three goals.

Schilling, Christina O’Beck and Heidi Fults each scored two goals for Newport.