By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
HACIENDA HEIGHTS – Bonita High School will leave the Hacienda League at the same level it entered it — as the dominant girls water polo program.
Natalie Rivas and Erin Gonzalez scored three goals each and Bonita wrapped up its fourth consecutive league title with a 12-9 victory over host Los Altos on Thursday in a game featuring two teams ranked in the top 10 of CIF-Southern Section Division 4.
Claire Turner and Kirra Hemric also had two goals for second-ranked Bonita, which improved to 18-9 overall and 7-0 in the Hacienda League.
Brooke Contreras had four goals for No. 7 Los Altos, which slipped to 11-11 and 4-2.
Bonita countered Los Altos’ early surge with three quick goals to take a 3-2 lead after the first quarter. Gonzalez scored on a back-hand shot in the hole before her and Turner followed with tallies to make it 3-2.
The Bearcats then scored on their first three shots in the second quarter to take a 7-3 lead at halftime.
Bonita, after Los Altos, closed within 9-6 after three quarters, outscored the Conquerors, 3-0, in the fourth to win 12-6.
Bonita coach Andy Rosenberg: “I’m pleased with my girls,” said Bonita coach Andy Rosenberg. We got down, but kept our composure and came back. I really liked that. It was really good, to be here in a hostile environment and come back. (Los Altos) is a good team. They never give up, and I imagine they will do well in CIF and we may wind up seeing them again.”
Los Altos coach Chris Coleman: “It was a fantastic start, then we were down 3-2 after simple mistakes. They scored from the five spot two times in a row. It kind of fell apart.”
Bonita’s Claire Turner: “We have a lot of good scorers. But we wanted to work on our defense against them.”