Girls Basketball Sits in 2nd Ahead of League Finale
Dana Hills girls basketball wrapped up its regular season on Thursday, Feb. 2, at Capistrano Valley, and while the Dolphins had a shot at their first Sea View League title since 2018, they would need help from elsewhere.
While Dana Hills (19-8, 7-1) played at Capistrano Valley (0-15, 0-8), league-leading El Toro (19-8, 7-1) played at Mission Viejo (13-14, 3-5). Results were not available for either game at press time.
Dana Hills dominated its two meetings against Capo Valley this season, winning 59-8 and 57-7, and El Toro handled Mission Viejo in its previous two meetings, 56-41 and 48-38.
While the league title wasn’t fully in their control, this successful rebound season will not end for Dana Hills, as the Dolphins have qualified for the CIF-SS playoffs. CIF-SS playoff brackets will be announced on Sunday, Feb. 5, with the first round opening on Thursday, Feb. 9. Dana Hills is ranked No. 10 in Division 4A.
“At the end of the day, you look at wins and losses, great, but we won in all aspects,” Dana Hills co-head coach Caitlin Bunting said. “We broke a 25-game losing streak (in league play). We took second place; that’s the best year they’ve had since 2018. That’s what we were preaching to them, that we win either way. I’m extremely proud of this group. They’ve surpassed every expectation of what we had coming in.”
On Jan. 26, Dana Hills had its opportunity to take control of the league title race at home against El Toro. The Dolphins trailed by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter, but they made a furious comeback with a 13-1 run to cut the Chargers’ lead to just three points with 11.8 seconds remaining.
“They’ve continued to rise every single occasion,” Bunting said. “Every battle. They take the challenge head-on, just like they did tonight. … It shows how much grit and true intensity this group has.”
However, despite El Toro again missing free throws down the stretch to give Dana Hills its chance, El Toro forced a steal on the final Dana Hills possession to finish off the game and gain the inside edge on the league title.
Dana Hills followed up by doubling up Mission Viejo, 46-23, on Tuesday, Jan. 31, on Senior Night.
Girls Water Polo Finishes 2nd in League, Ranked 4th in Division 2
Dana Hills girls water polo dropped its final two games of the regular season, but the Dolphins still sit in second place in the South Coast League heading into the CIF-SS playoffs.
Dana Hills was edged out at El Toro, 12-11, on Monday, Jan. 30, and the Dolphins again tied San Clemente’s closest margin of victory in league in a 13-7 road loss on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Dana Hills (20-8, 5-3) finished in a tie for second place with El Toro (18-4, 5-3), and San Clemente (16-8, 8-0) polished off a seventh consecutive undefeated run to the South Coast League championship.
Despite splitting their two meetings this season, there will be no tiebreaker needed between Dana Hills and El Toro for CIF-SS playoff seeding, as the teams will be in separate divisions. Dana Hills is ranked No. 4 in Division 2; El Toro is ranked No. 3 in Division 3.
CIF-SS playoff brackets will be released on Saturday, Feb. 4, with the first round for Dana Hills likely being played on Wednesday, Feb. 8.
Dana Hills boys soccer closed out its season on Wednesday, Feb. 1. The Dolphins lost at home to El Toro, 2-1. This marked the fourth consecutive losing season and losing league record for Dana Hills (2-10-2, 1-5). It was the second straight season with just one league win.
Dana Hills girls soccer finished its season on Thursday, Feb. 2, against Mission Viejo, but results were not available at press time. The Dolphins tied Mission Viejo at home, 1-1, on Jan. 17 and lost at Mission Viejo, 6-0, on Jan. 24. After beating El Toro in their league opener, the Dolphins went winless (0-6-1) in their next seven league games. Dana Hills hasn’t posted a winning record since 2017 or a non-losing league record since 2018.