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By Steve Breazeale
Dolphins Cross Country Advances to Nationals
Following a strong third-place showing at the CIF State Cross Country Championships on November 30, the Dana Hills boys cross country team earned a berth in the Nike Cross Nationals meet on December 7 in Oregon.
Sophomore Jake Ogden had a career month of November, which featured him winning the CIF-SS Division 1 Individual Championship on November 23. Ogden blistered the Mt. SAC course in a time of 14:41, a full two seconds clear of his next closest competitor.
Ogden followed that performance up with a 12th-place finish at the State Championships (15:33).
But Ogden was not the only Dolphins runner near the top of the leaderboards in recent weeks.
Senior Gavin Diem finished 14th at CIF-SS and 16th at state. Sophomore Mason Coppi placed 16th at CIF-SS and 45th at state. Junior Alex Smith placed 39th at CIF-SS and went on to place 19th at state.
This all around depth has been the Dolphins strength all season and now they will test that against the top cross country teams in the country at the Nike Cross Nationals.
Post Players Effective for Dolphins Boys Hoops in Preseason Tournament
The Dana Hills boys basketball team started their season off with two straight wins at the Diablo Inferno Tournament at Mission Viejo High School, but came up short against Foothill, one of the top teams in the tournament, on December 4.
The Dolphins (2-1) benefitted from efficient shooting in their 56-46 win over Warren on November 30. They grinded out a win and got the necessary late stops in a 51-47 win over Saddleback Valley Christian. But in the game against Foothill, the Dolphins were stifled by the Knights defense in the second and third quarters, resulting in their first loss of the season.
Foothill outscored Dana Hills 29-15 in the second and third, helping propel them to the win.
In the first two games of the preseason tournament the Dolphins played the power-post style of basketball that has become their trademark.
Senior center James Taylor went a perfect 10 for 10 shooting from the field against Warren, dropping a team-high 24 points. As a team, the Dolphins posted an 86 percent shooting mark on the night.
The 6-feet-8-inch Taylor recorded his first double-double of the season against Saddleback Valley Christian, pouring in 10 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
Through three games, senior forward Jack Clendenen was averaging 7.3 points, 3.7 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.
The Dolphins were set to cap off their tournament schedule with a game against Woodbridge (2-0) on December 5. Results were not available at press time.
Dolphins Girls Basketball in Tourney Mode
The Dana Hills girls basketball team bounced back from a season opening loss to Beckman on November 30 with a 65-34 win over El Modena in the first round of the Corona Del Mar Tournament on December 2.
The Dolphins (1-1) will continue playing in the preseason tournament until December 7.
Boys Soccer Enters Tough Preseason Slate
In the hopes of preparing his young team for league play, Dana Hills boys soccer head coach Leo Compean engineered a tough preseason schedule for the Dolphins. And after a win over Irvine and back to back losses to Beckman and Tesoro, the Dolphins toughest challenge is still looming.
The Dolphins (1-2) will host top ranked, and defending CIF-SS Division 1 champion, San Clemente on December 11 in a rivalry match that will test the young Dana Hills squad.
The good news for the Dolphins is that they can rely on the experience of having already played a tough South Coast League team, Tesoro, down to the wire. On December 4 the Titans narrowly edged Dana Hills 4-3.
Following the match against Tesoro the Dolphins will play another South Coast League team, Capistrano Valley, on December 13.
Breakers Defeat Dolphins Water Polo
The Dana Hills girls water polo team lost to Laguna Beach 22-9 in their season opener on December 3. The Dolphins are currently hindered by injuries to key players, but benefitted from Madison Baba’s return against the Breakers. Baba had a team-high three goals in the loss.
The Dolphins were set to play against Bell Gardens on December 5. Results were not available at press time. The team’s next game will be a home match against Warren on January 4.
Girls Soccer to Open Season Against Beckman
A December 9 road game against Beckman will mark the beginning of the season for the defending South Coast League champion Dana Hills girls soccer team. The match will be a part of the Aliso Cup Tournament, hosted by Aliso Niguel High School.