4:18 PM PDT, August 2, 2014
The Newport Beach Water Polo club's 12U boys' team finished third in the platinum division at the USA Water Polo Junior Olympic Championships in Palo Alto.
The Sailors rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn a 12-11 quarterfinal victory over the No. 3-seeded entry, then lost in the semifinals to the eventual tournament champion.
Newport posted a 10-6 win in the bronze-medal game, in which it displayed solid defense, counterattacks and execution.
Newport, coached by Marco Palazzo, Filippo Agostini and Stefano Ragosa, qualified in May to join the field of more than 70 teams in the largest age-group water polo tournament in the nation.
The Sailors opened the tournament with a victory over Thunder from Texas, as Sam Allen, Jackson Banta and Tomaso Baldineti led the way. Strong play was also turned in by goalie Blake Jackson.
Newport then handled a team from Santa Barbara, behind strong efforts from Cobrin Jacques, Tommy Kennedy and Makoto Kenney to propel the Sailors into the platinum division.
On the second day of the tournament, Newport capped a day of tough competition by defeating the host team, Stanford, thanks to the strong contributions of Eli Liechty, Haig Mavusi and Gus Oeding.
Newport posted three victories on the third day of the event. In the first two games, the locals got off to a fast start and benefited from the play of Luke Redoutey, Nick Richardson, Richie Rimlinger and Reed Stemler.
The team was also supported by Team Coordinator Beth Leichty.
— From staff reports