By Zach Cavanagh
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Over the holiday break, all of the Dolphin winter sports teams participated in a litany of tournaments. With league play kicking off next week, let’s check in on how those teams fared over the break and where they stand before the games really count.
Girls Basketball Second at SoCal Holiday Prep Classic
The Dana Hills girls basketball team had a successful run over the break.
The Dolphins (10-7) have won five of their past seven games, including a surge to second place at the SoCal Holiday Prep Classic in San Diego.
Dana Hills won three straight nonleague games against Laguna Hills, 36-28 on Dec. 8; Katella, 52-14 on Dec. 20; and San Juan Hills, 51-46 in overtime on Dec. 22.
The Dolphins then hit the road to San Diego for one of the larger girls basketball holiday tournaments in the area, featuring eight divisions and 63 teams, from Dec. 26-29.
In the NCAA Black Division, Dana Hills opened with a loss to Vista, 49-38, but the Dolphins bounced back with consecutive wins over Hueneme of Oxnard, 26-22, and Lathrop, 51-48, to take the top spot in Pool B. Dana Hills took on California of San Ramon in the division title game but lost, 68-48.
Dana Hills has one more nonleague tune-up against Fallbrook on Saturday, Jan. 5 before moving up to the challenge of South Coast League play. The reigning Sea View League champions open league at home against San Clemente on Thursday, Jan. 10.
Boys Basketball Earns Bronze at Rancho Mirage
The Dana Hills boys basketball team had a similar holiday run as the girls team.
The Dolphins (10-4) have won six of their past eight games, including a fight to third place at the Rancho Mirage Holiday Invitational.
After school let out for the holiday break, Dana Hills notched a solid win in the North/South Challenge at Tesoro High School. The Dolphins took down Woodbridge, 57-51, but the teams from North Orange County took the challenge overall, 7-3. Ben Carr was named the game MVP for Dana Hills.
The Dolphins then took a trip to the desert from Dec. 26-29 and continued their strong play.
In the Best Buy Division of the Rancho Mirage Holiday Invitational, Dana Hills scored opening wins over Cabrillo of Lompoc, 50-29, and La Quinta, 57-22. The Dolphins were edged out by Miller of Fontana, 53-52, and denied a shot at the division title. Dana Hills made up for it with a one-point win of its own in the third-place game over Downey, 37-36.
Dana Hills had one more game before opening league play with a Coast View Conference crossover game at Trabuco Hills on Thursday, Jan. 3. Results were not available at press time.
The Dolphins take another shot at the Sea View League with their opener on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at home against San Juan Hills.
Harkey Takes Top Spot at San Clemente Tournament
Dana Hills wrestler Josh Harkey was named the Champion of Champions for his performance at the San Clemente Rotary Tournament on Dec. 22.
Wrestling at 182 lbs., Harkey earned three falls and an 11-0 major decision to take first place in his weight division and earn the top individual honors for the tournament.
Harkey opened with a pin in two minutes even over Kamran Memarzia of Newbury Park and worked quickly in the second round for a 42-second pin of Kevin Sanson of San Marcos. In the semifinals, Harkey took some time for a four-minute, 58-second pin of Diego Sheng of Peninsula. In the final, Harkey took on Khajack Darbinian of the host Tritons and posted a dominating 11-0 decision.
Also for the Dolphins, James Chotkevys took third place at 152 lbs., and Eliseo Miramontes took fifth at 220 lbs.
Dana Hills next hosts El Toro in a dual meet on Tuesday, Jan. 8. The Coast View Athletic Association league tournament takes place on Saturday, Jan. 19.
Boys Soccer Makes Run to Marina Semifinals
The Dana Hills boys soccer team had been looking for more consistency and found it over the break.
The Dolphins (6-5-1) won four of five games over a 10-day stretch, including their first three at the Marina Tournament.
Dana Hills opened with a 1-0 win over Costa Mesa on Dec. 26 on the strength of a Parker Moore goal and a three-save shutout by Edgar Arteaga. Dana Hills then found its offensive gear in wins over Bolsa Grande, 4-1, and Redlands East Valley, 3-1.
In the semifinals, Dana Hills scored in the first half, but Savanna leveled the game in the second half. The teams played to a 1-1 draw, and Savanna advanced on penalty kicks, 4-2.
Moore led the Dolphins with four goals in the tournament. Kole Fisher, Bryce Allen, Merv Flores, Zac Zepezauer and Cole Andrew each scored a goal for Dana Hills in the tournament.
The Dolphins played one last nonleague game at local power San Clemente on Thursday, Jan. 3, but results were not available at press time. Dana Hills opens the Sea View League at Laguna Hills on Monday, Jan. 7.