The Ensign eighth-grade girls' basketball team defeated Dwyer, 21-18, to win the Coastal Athletic League championship.
It was the second straight championship for the group of girls. With the game going back and forth throughout, Ensign took control late in the fourth quarter with key shots and tough defense.
Ensign ended the regular season in a three-way tie for first place and defeated Costa Mesa, Corona del Mar and Dwyer en route to the title. Ensign avenged its only loss of the season by defeating CdM in the semifinals. Ensign was led by its hard-nosed team defense, holding six of its nine opponents to under 10 points. The team included Kaitlynn Bell, Mackenzie Gaddis, Toni Holland, Sammie Yeager, Ali Bonds, Carlee Kapana, Brooke Zachary, Rachel Whitelegge, Bowie Villoria, Katie Duhoux, Hannah Doolin and Jessica Ochoa.
The Corona del Mar seventh-grade middle school girls' basketball team finished a perfect season with a Pacific Coast League Championship.
The undefeated CdM team faced Ensign in the final match at Ensign, which ended with a 38-22 win. The No. 1 seed Seaweed team set the pace of the game from the beginning and won with tough defense, its ability to control the paint and its overall team effort on offense.
Top scorer of the game Krista Andersen finished the game with 15 points and dominated the boards. Fellow post player Natalia Bruening dished off the ball several times and finished with seven assists and seven points. Point guard Ally Rosenblum handled the pressure well with controlled ball handling, few turnovers and great ball movement. She finished with eight points. Siena Sharf was very consistent with her shot, missing very little from outside. She scored eight points. The game was won, however, on the defensive end.
Kelly Tam had the difficult job of shutting down fellow Newport Lightning club player and top scorer Marina LaPuzza, who had led Ensign to many victories during league play and was unstoppable in Ensign's semifinal match against TeWinkle. Tam held her to three points. Jasmine Winters from Ensign also had a great game and finished with 11 points.
Also contributing to the CdM title were: Carly Michaels, Lauren Alvarez, Taylor Alvarez, Val Hunter, Kate Hunter, Caroline Allesandro, Lexi Osterberg and Melody Yoo. CdM's team was coached by Julia Bruening with assistants Isaias Morales and Ellie Nadal.
Carden does it
The Carden Hall girls' middle school volleyball team, the No. 3 seed in the Tri-Cities League finals, swept top-seed Calvary Chapel of Santa Ana, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23.
The girls' match featured Carden Hall eighth-grade team co-captains Paige Migliori, Colette Vigil, Kierstyn Yardley, as well as Carden players Jo Schott, Jane Slaughter and Brittany Welsh. The team also had seventh-graders Katherine Condino, Kinley Ohland and Remy Wilson helping Carden Hall to the playoff victory.
Coach Monica Stewart said that the Eagles "played incredible and played one of its best defensive matches" in the upset.
The victory was especially sweet as it has been 12 years since the program has won a championship.
Newport boys and girls win bronze
The Newport Water Polo Foundation 14-and-under boys' and girls' teams earned bronze medals by finishing third in their respective divisions at the Champions Cup in Houston Texas.
The boys beat Las Vegas, Chicago, So Cal and Commerce to qualify for the semifinals as the only undefeated boys' team. The semifinal game against San Diego Shores was the boys' only loss in the tournament, putting them in contention for the bronze medal against Stanford Water Polo. They were victorious thanks to outstanding offensive play by standout Nick Silvers, an eighth-grader at Our Lady Queen of Angels, and the rest of the starting lineup that includes Jack Mooers, Clay Davison, Jon Edson, Charlie Padden (all eighth-graders at Ensign), and Peter Seidner, an eighth-grader at Mariners Christian School. Goalie Nick Wood, protected the goal throughout the tournament, blocking tough shots in every game and assisted by the across the board great defense of his team. Wood, also in the eighth grade at Ensign, has been touted by Corey Delahunt, the boys' coach, as the best U14 goalie in the country. The team's success was achieved with the support of the entire team including Cory Kennedy, Ben Morrison, Ben Teitscheid, Scott Hockenberry, Ryan Braun, Jason Trzeciecki and Nick Schroeder.
The Newport girls were also a formidable, beating Houston, San Diego and Danville, only to be edged out of the gold-medal round by Commerce. The girls competed for the bronze against San Francisco East Bay, winning that game. Coach Ross Sinclair was proud of their play throughout the tournament. Standout goalie Carlee Kapana, and a tough-as-nails lineup that includes Ashley Quinn, Rachel Whitelegge, Chanel Schilling, Lyndsie Williams, Emily Castelblanco, Krista Schneider, Emma Erickson, Olivia Jaber, Elizabeth Groux, Samantha Garcia, Katie Kearns, Tehya Corona and Isabel Leveque were strong throughout.
OC boys win Platinum
The Orange County Water Polo Club 12U boys' team won the Southern Pacific Age Group Water Polo Tournament Platinum Division.