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Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 12:34 pm

Islander Girls Water Polo Loses Close Season Opener to Carlsbad

There will be few games as well-played during the 2018-19 Islander Girls Water Polo season, as the opening game of the year, contested by Coronado and Carlsbad. The game was held last Wednesday at the Brian Bent Memorial Aquatics Complex.

Carlsbad, the defending CIF San Diego Section Open Division, defeated Coronado 14-13 in game that went down to the wire. Coronado led the game only once, at 1-0. The teams were never separated by more than two goals and the score was tied on five different occasions. There was good fast-paced action throughout.

Carlsbad executed their power play with incredible efficiency, converting seven of their nine (78 percent) man-advantage scoring opportunities. Coronado was very good in that same statistical category, executing their man-up at an even 50 percent, scoring on 7 of their 14 chances. As you could perhaps glean from the total of 23 exclusions in the game, there were plenty of whistles blown. But it was the first game of the season for the officials too, so let’s hope they tone it down a tad as the year progresses.

The Islanders opened the scoring at the 4:41 mark with a goal from senior Sheila Tomlin, which seems appropriate because she scored seven times against the Lancers. Carlsbad countered 29 seconds later, then Tomlin scored at the 3:31 mark on an assist from Lauren Gauvin. Carlsbad scored twice in succession to make the score 3-2 at the end of the first quarter.

Carlsbad opened the second quarter with one of the two man-up opportunities they didn’t convert, followed in short order with one they did to make the score 4-2. Danni Croteau scored on an assist from Grace Harbaugh and 30 seconds later Tomlin struck again to tie the score at 4-all. The Lancers scored with two seconds remaining in the first half on a man-up, to take a 5-4 lead at intermission. Islander sophomore Ella Farley played the first half in goal and was credited with three saves and one steal. Both she and freshman Michelle Croteau, who played the second half in goal, did a nice job with their outlet passes to provide Coronado with some counter-attack opportunities in the game.

Just 20 seconds into the second half, Coronado scored on a man-up conversion by Tomlin, which was equaled two minutes later by Carlsbad. That was pretty much the story of the second half. But Coronado rallied, with back-to-back goals from Harbaugh on a Tomlin assist, followed in short order by another Tomlin goal at 3:32 of the third to even the score 7-7. Carlsbad interrupted that scoring flow 24 seconds later to re-take the lead.

The play was continuous and the scoring back-and-forth. With 90 seconds left in the game, Carlsbad took a 13-11 lead. Danni Croteau scored her second goal at the 1:07 mark; Carlsbad scored with 54 seconds remaining to go up 14-12; Tomlin scored a man-advantage goal with 28 seconds left to make it 14-13; and Carlsbad spread the pool and played keep-away to run out the clock.

For Coronado, the stats recap included: Tomlin with seven goals, an assist and two steals; Harbaugh with two goals, an assist and one steal; Croteau with two goals; Abby Sylvester had a goal, an assist and one steal; Reese Oliver had one goal; Emmie Muschek, Ellie Brownlee, Brooke Lee andLauren Gauvin had an assist each; and Michelle Croteau had two saves in goal in the second half. Assuming the Islanders put up a similar effort for Head Coach Alicia Began the rest of the season, the Islanders are going to win a lot of games in 2018-19.

This week the Islanders host Santa Margarita Thursday at 5 p.m. and Saturday Coronado will host their out-of-section rival Newport Harbor at 5 p.m.

Islander Girls Soccer Pushes Their Record to 2-0-1

It’s not a state secret the Islander Girls Soccer Team had a tough season last year. In what was perhaps the ultimate rebuilding year, the team had one senior and 11 freshmen. That was then and the now is the Islanders are good. Last week Coronado tied Sage Creek 2-2 and defeated Otay Ranch 2-0. Combined with their victory in their first regular season game over Mountain Empire, the Islanders are now 2-0-1.

Islander Head Coach Mike Costaglio, as it turns out, has a pretty good sense of humor. He said of the tie against Sage Creek, “We played them last year and we tied 1-1. I joked with their coach that we both got one goal better and one goal worse. It was an even match and we gave up the tying goal in the last minute and a half of the game. It could have been a better result. The last 15 minutes of both halves is where fatigue and loss of concentration set in. I have seen the stats from a lot of World Cup Women’s games and a lot of goals are scored then. Our goals were scored by Riley McGrath and Amelia Hawley. Shelby Linde was in goal for the entire match and she had four saves.”

Next up was Otay Ranch and Costaglio said, “That was a good game for us. The only goal we get credit for is from Madison Shanks and Otay Ranch scored an own goal. The ball got into the net before we could get to it. Grace Gehler-Smith had the assist on Madison’s goal. Shelby was in goal and she had a clean sheet. On defense, I think the player we expect to play well every game is Avery Dozier, but I think a real nice surprise for us has been Nadia Quijano, who we moved from outside defender to center back. She has accepted the challenge and played well in all our matches. She is the quarterback of our defense.”

This week the Islanders have three games including a home game Tuesday when they host Chula Vista at 5:30 p.m.; they are at Kearny Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.; and Thursday Coronado returns home to host Fallbrook at 5:30 p.m.

Islander Girls Basketball Has Game Postponed Due to Rain; Wins Big Over Pacific Christian

The Islander Girls Basketball Team had two home games scheduled last week, one Thursday against Pacific Ridge from the Carlsbad area and one Saturday against Pacific Christian from the LA area. As bad luck would have it, the season’s first rain storm hit Thursday, and effectively wiped out the Pacific Ridge game, due to the continuing problem of leaks in the roof of the Coronado High gymnasium. Aside from being an inconvenience and a potential safety issue, the existing gym floor is only going to be able to take so many exposures to vast amounts of rain before it is ruined and will need to be replaced, along with the roof.

According to Islander Head Coach Toler Goodwin, the game with Pacific Ridge, which is part of the San Dieguito Tournament, a round-robin affair which covers two weeks and is played at several sites, will be re-scheduled if possible.

In the meantime, Pacific Christian came to town from the LA area and with the basketball floor dry, the Islanders were off to the races, winning 54-14. Goodwin said, “They are a young team and they had a couple of key players. They played Chula Vista the night before and the score was similar. For us, Sarah Barns had 22 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists, while Lauren White had 20 points and she also had 11 rebounds. The plays were there for them and they were able to make them. Gianna Spatafore had six points and six rebounds; Rose Czerewko had four points and four assists; Regina Czerewko dished out four assists and Courtney Williams scored four points.”

What, you may ask, can coach glean from a 40-point victory? Goodwin said, “We did some nice things defensively and we held their best player to one point. We frustrated her. We know at some point this season we are going to have to do that to another team. We didn’t let her get the ball, so this was a game where we could work on those ideas and concepts.”

This week the Islanders transform into road warriors as they play at Escondido Tuesday, at O’Farrell Charter Thursday at 3:30 p.m., and at Sweetwater High Friday at 7 p.m.

Islander Boys Basketball Loses Twice in West Hills Tournament

It’s been an unusual year for the Islander Boys Basketball Team, which currently has a record of 1-5. As an overall theme, scoring has been a challenge, but the team still has been in almost all their games. In the first of their two games last week, Coronado lost to Mt. Carmel 34-29. My memory of Mt. Carmel is of a huge high school with overpowering athletic programs. The days when they had an enrollment of 3,500 students have long since passed because newer, adjacent schools Westview and Del Norte have siphoned students from Mt. Carmel, which still has an enrollment of 1,960.

Islander Head Coach JD Laaperi said of the game, “There are two relevant statistics for the game. First, we didn’t have a quarter where we scored in double figures. And second, for 32 minutes, we didn’t have back-to-back possessions where we scored the basketball. There was a lid on the basket, it wasn’t turnovers. For the most part, we took the same shots we made against Mission Hills, but we weren’t hitting. And it was one of those game that we were close basically the entire game. We only lost by five points. We could never put together a scoring run.”

As for the strategy that Mt. Carmel deployed, it sounded like a throwback to Coach Norman Dale of the movie “Hoosiers.” Laaperi explained, “They’re not overly talented, but they slowed the game down and passed the ball six or seven times before they took a shot. We were trying to get a volume of shots going and when we were only seeing the ball every 30 seconds or so, that’s tough to do. The scheme they play, they play it well. On a night we were hitting our shots, we would have had a 10-point victory. Another problem is we didn’t play as hard as we can play. We had three days of practice after this game and we focused on playing harder. We can’t play hard sometimes and then mail it in against a Division IV team like Mt. Carmel. Bruen Roulier had 12 points to lead us in scoring in that game.”

The second game of the week was a 69-48 loss to Christian, although the Islanders got off to a 17-15 start in the first quarter, which Laaperi described as the best first quarter the team had played all season, and more than half the points the team had scored against Mt. Carmel. “Then the turnovers hit us,” Laaperi said. “We had 10 in the first half and 22 for the game. And the disappointing thing, and a point of emphasis in practice, has been to make the extra pass. We had 13 assists Saturday night. And we had 10 steals, both of which are good totals for the high school level. Our stats were in our favor but giving a talented bunch of players extra possessions is a recipe for disaster. Their biggest run all night was just five or six points, but they just kept putting them together. We just traded baskets during our runs. We didn’t do ourselves any favors from the free throw line, shooting just 33 percent. The game itself took two hours to play, as there were 48 total fouls called. Only two people fouled out, one for us and one for them. As much as that was a frustration, it was equally bad on both sides of the ball and officiating was not a factor in why we lost. It was definitely the turnovers and the foul shooting. Christian was in the bonus at the five-minute mark of the third quarter. Caden Gentry got hot for us shooting in the first half and Mike Cunningham picked us up in the second half. They both wound up scoring in double figures.”

This week the Islanders have three games, starting against West Hills at their gym Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., against El Centro Southwest Wednesday at West Hills at 4:30 p.m., and Friday they play Granite Hills at West Hills at 7 p.m. Laaperi concluded his remarks by saying, “The message to the kids was if we play as hard as we did against Christian this week, we should be okay. Everyone is healthy and last night was the first time the coaching staff has felt good about our player rotation and we had a better effort by the group. I hope the kids come out with the same effort they had Saturday night.”

Islander Honors and Awards

Last week a number of post-season banquets were held, and post-season awards were announced by several of the Islander Fall Sports Teams. Here is an awards rundown by team.

Boys and Girls Cross Country: Boys MVP-Brad Busby; Girls MVP-Teresa Perez; Senior Awards: Connor Jaynes, Regina Czerewko and Madden Hundley; Rookie of the Year-Landon Mullins. All-CIF Second Team Honors- Perez.

Girls Golf: Junior Crista Izuzquiza was named to the All-CIF First Team in Girls Golf.

Varsity Football: Team Captains-Bryce Alexander, Colton Cline, Teddy Hendrickson and Grant McMillen; Heart of an Islander Award-Joe Whalen; Most Improved Player-Nicholas Dunn; ISF Award-McMillen; Most Valuable Player Defense-Alexander; MVP Defensive Lineman-Jacob McKanry, MVP Offensive Lineman-Phillip Simpson; MVP Offense-James Witthoft; Team MVP-Colter Maldonado.

Football All-Central League First Team Offense-Witthoft, Maldonado and Simpson; First Team Defense-Alexander, Tyler Buckley, McKanry and Jayden Ferrer. Second Team Offense-Dunn, Jack Weisbrod, and Ash Bibbes. Second Team Defense, John Rawlins and Kai Concepcion.

2019 Captains-Witthoft, Concepcion and Buckley.

Girls Varsity Tennis: Most Improved-Ana de la Lama; MVPs-Summer Vu, Alejandra Gonzalez and Marla Steel; Coach’s Award-Olivia Strong, who is a repeat winner; ISF Award-Lily Vu; CIF Honorable Mention: Summer Vu, Elsa Ostermarker, Gonzalez, Steel, Strong, Sinaia Haskal, Ellie Johnson, and Samantha Russell. Head Coach Rob Moore commented that is the most players he has had earn CIF recognition during his tenure at CHS.

Junior Varsity Tennis Awards: MVPs-Maya Haskal and Lauren Petit; Coach's Award-Esther Nahmad; Most Improved Player-Jade Summers-Evans; and the Captains' Award Brianna Heinken.

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