Liam Sommer
Liam Sommer of Dos Pueblos winds up for a shot against Arroyo Grande during opening-round game of the Santa Barbara Invitational. (Peter Neushul / Noozhawk photo)

It was a tough first day for the three local Channel League boys water polo teams at the 24-team Santa Barbara Invitational.

Santa Barbara High, San Marcos and Dos Pueblos all went down to defeat. The tournament-host Dons were outscored 9-0 between the first and second periods and fell to San Clemente, 19-13.

San Marcos committed three late turnovers after pulling to within one goal of Dana Hills and suffered a 14-11 defeat at the SBHS pool.

At the Elings Aquatic Center, Dos Pueblos had key player get into early foul trouble and dropped 14-9 decision against Arroyo Grande.

The results drop the local teams into a round-robin consolation bracket at San Marcos on Friday.

Dos Pueblos (6-2) will play at noon against Mira Costa, a 14-5 loser against Alta Loma; at 1 p.m., Santa Barbara takes on Danville-Monte Vista, which lost 15-3 against Corona del Mar; at 3 p.m, San Marcos meets Bakersfield’s Garces Memorial, a 15-5 loser against Bellarmine Prep.

The second round of games has DP playing Monte Vista at 4 p.m.; Santa Barbara facing Mira Costa at 5 p.m., and San Marcos taking on Redlands East Valley at 7 p.m.

In other tournament results Thursday: 

At Dos Pueblos, Alta Loma of Rancho Cucamonga defeated Manhattan Beach-Mira Costa 14-5; Corona del Mar topped Danville-Monte Vista 15-3 and Whittier-La Serna defeated San Ramon Valley, 11-6.

In the games at Santa Barbara, Archie Williams of San Anselmo beat Redlands East Valley 20-12 and San Jose’s Bellarmine Prep knocked off Bakersfield-Garces Memorial 15-5.

Arroyo Grande 14, Dos Pueblos 9

Dos Pueblos had a rough first period against Arroyo Grande.

Jaden Moore, the Chargers’ top defender, got into early foul trouble, collecting back-to-back penalties, and the Eagles capitalized by scoring seven goals.

Dos Pueblos fell behind 11-5 by halftime before holding the Eagles to just three goals in the second half. 

“Jaden came back in the second half with a goal of his own and was able to direct the defense,” said DP coach Chris Parrish.

Brody Luke scored four goals to lead the Chargers, while Liam Sommer and Aden Bishop tallied two goals apiece.

San Clemente 19, Santa Barbara 13

Jerrard Burford made a terrific individual effort as he stole the ball and was fouled on his drive to the goal, resulting in a penalty shot. Burford converted to make a 4-3 game in the first period.

San Clemente answered with a goal by Ray Hickman with 15 seconds left in the period and then exploded for eight more — two by Hickman to take command of the game.

“We were on pace to give up 30 or 40 goals,” said Walsh. “Our starting goalie was out, so we had to play a freshman and a sophomore. That was a tough task for them.”

Down 13-4 at halftime, Burford started a four-goal run for the Dons against San Clemente’s second unit.

The Tritons put their starters back in and Hickman unleashed a skip shot into the back of the cage to make it 14-8.

Burford scored his game-high eighth goal to cut the deficit to 16-13 with 2:32 to go. But San Clemente finished off the game with three straight goals.

Mateo Obando added three goals for the Dons.

Hickman buried six goals for San Clemente.

“We’re still learning,” said Walsh. “We’ve played a bunch of different teams that played us different ways, so we’re adjusting to everything. Everything is still pretty new to us, so we’re still working at it. 

“We’ll get better from this weekend, that’s our goal.”

Nic Prentice of San Marcos looks for an open teammate while being defended by two Dana Hills players.

Nic Prentice of San Marcos looks for an open teammate while being defended by two Dana Hills players. (Lily Chubb photo)

Dana Hills 14, San Marcos 11

Down 12-9 early in the fourth period, Jordan Lind scored back-to-back goals off assists from Charlie Franzen and Nick Prentice to make it a one-goal game with 3:13 to play.

Goalie Matt Dembuski added to the momentum building with a big block. But the air seeped out of the Royals’ balloon on a pair of turnovers that resulted in goals by Dana Hills.

“Dana Hills is an excellent team,” said San Marcos coach Peera Sukavivatanachai. “They got a lot of good pieces together. They looked very composed.”

It was a tight game from the start.

Lind gave the Royals a 7-6 lead with 46 seconds left in the first half and Dana Hills came right back and tied the score before halftime.

The Dolphins took an 8-7 lead and then blocked a San Marcos penalty shot in the third period.

San Marcos bounced back as Hudson McLeod took a pass from Lind on a counterattack and tied the score at 8-8.

Dana Hills tacked on a pair of goals, including one on a penalty shot, to take the lead for good at 10-8 late in the third period.

Nic Prentice drew a penalty shot for the Royals and Franzen converted it to make it a one-goal game again. 

Lind forced a turnover but the Royals gave the ball right back, and Dana Hills scored on a power play for an 11-9 advantage going into the final period.

The Dolphins made it 12-9 before Lind and Franzen scored back-to-back goals.

The Royals had their chances to tie the score, but the late turnovers did them in.

Sukavivatanchai felt this team played OK against a good opponent.

“We still have, obviously, a couple of defensive gaps that we’re trying to figure out and solidify,” he said. “It’s just a matter of everyone trusting out system and buying into it. We’re not quite there yet, but, hopefully, we’ll be there soon.” 

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.