The Dos Pueblos and Santa Barbara High water polo teams found the competition a lot more challenging in the main draw of the Santa Barbara Invitational on Friday.
Both teams faced top-seeded opponents and suffered lopsided defeats. Santa Barbara fell to No. 2 Santa Margarita, 15-5, while Dos Pueblos was beaten by fourth seed Huntington Beach, 20-11.
The Chargers fell behind 7-3 in the first period against a faster, more organized Huntington Beach squad. The lead got up to 10-3 before Ethan Parrish faked a shot and deftly laid the ball off to Alex Reilly for the finish and Sammy Arshadi drew a major penalty and buried the penalty shot to keep DP in the game.
The sharp-shooting Oilers, ranked third in Orange County, answered with back-to-back goals to go up 12-5.
Parrish scored off a rebound, finishing with a backhanded shot to make 12-6 at halftime.
Huntington Beach overpowered DP in the third quarter to take a 16-7 lead.
“Overall, defensively we did not play a great game,” DP coach Bryan Snyder said. “We were not finishing out our defensive possessions properly and giving up goals to them in the counter attack. Both our team and counter defense need to improve in order for us to continue improving as a team.”
Chase Dodd and Coooer Haddad each scored five goals and Ethan Crooks had three for the Oilers. Rex Goodner, Parrish and Arshadi had two apiece for DP.
The Chargers later fell against Orange Lutheran 18-11. Parrish had five goals Arshadi four.
“Our team and counter defense was very good in the first half,” Snyder said. “We were helping each other and shot blocking well both in the half court set and on the counter attack. In the second half, we got away from running our proper defense and they were able to get both goals from the center position and in the counter attack.
“When we learn to play four full quarters of team defense, we will start to have very close games with top CIF teams like Huntington Beach and Orange Lutheran.”
Santa Barbara fell behind 5-0 against Santa Margarita.
Adam Coffin broke the Santa Barbara drought in the second period.
The Dons next played Mira Costa and lost 8-5.
Coffin made it a 6-5 game at 3:29 in the fourth quarter on a penalty shot, but Mira Costa answered with a goal at 3:11 and scored again with 1:51 left to take a three-goal lead.
Coffin scored three goals to lead the Dons.
On Saturday, Santa Barbara plays Los Osos at 12:20 p.m. DP is home against Riverside Poly at 10:10 a.m.
San Marcos played three games on Friday. The Royals opened with a 15-10 loss to Righetti and then beat Drake, 8-5, and La Serna, 10-8.
Blake Lindblad made a big penalty block in the third quarter to help the Royals maintain the lead against Drake. Daniel Goldberg led the offense with four goals.
Against La Serna, Peter Frisell and Caden Heinze each had 3 goals, and Goldberg and Tom Leggett scored two apiece.
San Marcos plays Garces at 8 a.m. for 19th place.
In the championship semifinals, Huntington Beach faces Loyola at 8 a.m., and Mater Dei meets Woodbridge at 9:05 a.m. at Santa Barbara High for spots in the final at 1:25 p.m.