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By Zach Cavanagh
Basketball Teams Open with Strong Tournament Performances
Both the Dana Hills boys and girls basketball teams advanced to tournament championship games in the opening week of the winter sports season last week.
The Dolphin girls are 4-0 on the young season after a championship performance in the North-South Tournament at Mission Viejo High School. Dana Hills defeated La Quinta of Westminster (37-15), Laguna Hills (54-15) and St. Margaret’s (32-28) to win the South County bracket. In the tournament championship, Dana Hills outlasted Marina, the North County representative, in overtime, 43-39.
The Dana Hills girls hosted their first home game of the season on Tuesday, Nov. 22, against Canyon, but results were not available at press time. The Dolphins are next in action at Edison on Tuesday, Nov. 29, and host their next home game on Dec. 12 against Trabuco Hills.
The Dana Hills boys made a charge for the championship at Santa Ana Luis Macias Tournament, but the Dolphins were held off by a familiar foe in San Juan Hills.
Dana Hills won its first two games with strong offensive outputs in victories over Calvary Chapel (82-65) and El Modena (73-57). Collin Haugh put up 41 points and 10 3-pointers against Calvary Chapel, and the sophomore led the Dolphins again in the championship game with 31 points and another five 3-pointers.
Despite a 16-point San Juan Hills lead in the fourth quarter, Haugh and the Dolphins were able to cut the lead down to three points with just over a minute remaining in the game. However, San Juan Hills regained its CIF-SS championship mettle and defeated Dana Hills, 72-67.
Dana Hills continues tournament play in the next two weeks in the Loara Tournament and the Capistrano Valley Christian/San Juan Hills Tournament. The Dolphins host their first home game on Dec. 16 against San Clemente.
Winter Sports Open Play
In addition to the basketball teams, all of the winter sports teams at Dana Hills have kicked off their seasons or will in the coming days.
Dana Hills girls water polo, which is the only other Dolphins team to make a CIF-SS preseason watch list along with girls basketball, opens its season next Tuesday, Nov. 29, with a home match against University.
Dana Hills boys soccer will host San Clemente next Wednesday, Nov. 30.
Dolphins girls soccer plays at Laguna Beach next Tuesday, Nov. 29, and hosts its first home game on Dec. 6 against Northwood.
Coming off six medals at the Costa Mesa Classic this past weekend, the Dana Hills boys wrestling team will host a dual meet against San Juan Hills next Tuesday, Nov. 29.
Look for the full winter sports preview in the Dec. 9 issue of the Dana Point Times.
Three Athletes Sign on Fall Signing Day
Dana Hills had three student-athletes sign National Letters of Intent to continue their athletic and academic careers in college on Fall Signing Day, Nov. 9.
The Dolphin baseball team had two signees. Andrew Nesson signed to play at Holy Cross, and Chase Rodgers signed to play at Lafayette College.
Dana Hills girls water polo had a Division 1 signee, as Sadie Riester signed with Loyola Marymount.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a multiple California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.