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Boys' water polo: Chargers grab first postseason win since 2002

Edison beats Buena, 9-6, in CIF Division I wild-card game, using 6-3 second-half run.

November 09, 2010|By Mike Sciacca, michael.sciacca@latimes.com
(Kent Treptow / Huntington…)

HUNTINGTON BEACH — It wasn't pretty, but Diggy Riley will take it.

The Edison High boys' water polo coach wasn't pleased — and his expression showed it — as he watched his Chargers flutter away several first-half opportunities during Tuesday's CIF Southern Section Division I wild-card game against visiting Buena. Riley, however, was pleased with his team's second-half performance which pushed the Chargers to a 9-6 victory at Golden West College and into a first-round match against top-seeded Mater Dei Wednesday.

Edison outscored Buena, 6-3, in the second half to record its first postseason victory since 2002.

The Chargers also were making their first playoff appearance in two years and hosting their first game since 2002.

Both the Chargers and Bulldogs were at-large entries into the Division I playoffs.

"An ugly CIF win is still a CIF win," Riley said. "We missed a lot of opportunities in that first half which was frustrating. We could have had a 5-0 lead in the first quarter but didn't convert on several occasions.

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"Still we did a real nice job defensively in the second half. We gave up a couple of weird goals and offensively, we opened things up after we had been clogged up a bit. A big key in the second half was the kick-outs we had."

Buena rallied from a 2-1 first-quarter deficit to go up, 3-2, in the second quarter before Edison's Kyle Spreeman scored to tie the score at 3-3 at the half. The score remained tied after both teams were refuted offensively through the first 4:34 of the third quarter. Edison's Brent Bazzell broke the tie for good when he skipped a shot into goal with Edison holding a six-on-five advantage.

The Chargers defense came up big moments later during a Bulldogs' six-on-five when defensive pressure on Buena led to a takeaway by Tony Morelli and steal by Bazzell. At the other end of the pool, Bazzell scored again to put the Chargers on top, 6-3.

In the fourth quarter, a great save by Edison goalie John Mroch led to a score by Morelli that gave the Chargers a 7-4 advantage. After the Bulldogs pulled to within 7-5 with 4:41 remaining and in position to score again, Edison attacker Wil Menke forced a turnover in front of the Edison goal that was grabbed by attacker Justin Harrison. The Chargers, again in a six-on-five advantage moments later, upped their lead to 8-5 on a goal by Bazzell.

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