All phases were clicking mightily for No. 1 Palos Verdes (9-0) Friday in its dominant, 18-3 win over No. 5 Chaminade (5-3) at Palos Verdes High School. The Sea Kings’ first glowing key to success over the Eagles was at the dot, where Cole Clinton won a mammoth 18 of 20 face-offs, setting the tone throughout the game.
“[Clinton] is going to go D-I for a reason,” Sea Kings coach Jimmy Borell said of the Sacred Heart commit. “At the high school level it’s almost unfair, but I don’t want to take anything away from him. He’s worked his ass off, earned a Division I scholarship, and really sets us up for us to succeed when he can get the ball back 90 percent of the time.”
Birk Swan (1g, 1a) got Palos Verdes on the board within the first 16 seconds, but the next six minutes belonged to the defenses until Trevor Roberts (1g) brought the Eagles even at 1-1 with 6:50 remaining in the first quarter.
Then the Sea Kings put their foot on the gas in all phases.
Palos Verdes outscored Chaminade 5-2 and 6-0 in the first two quarters, respectively, and the Sea Kings went into halftime with a comfortable 11-2 lead. Sophomore attack Brad Sharp (5g, 4a) was the offensive star with an incredible nine-point performance, six of which came in the first half.
“At first, [Chaminade] was just playing me man-to-man, and that’s when I like to take them,” Sharp said. “They like to slide early, and I can get my teammates involved in the game to run the offense around.”
Thanks to Clinton’s possession dominance, the Sea Kings did not let up in the third quarter. PV outscored the Eagles 5-0 in the frame, getting contributions on offense from Sharp, Jordan White (3g, 2g in the third), and Ryan Wilson (1g, 1a).
The fourth quarter was relatively quiet offensively, but Palos Verdes won the quarter 2-1, and the game 18-3. Both talented Sea Kings goalkeepers played, per usual, and both played quite well, Kyle McCann (8 saves) in the first half and Joey Quinn (6 saves) in the second half.
“It’s a spoils of riches,” Borell said. “We’re very lucky to have two outstanding goalies. They’re both great guys and great teammates. We’re just in a lucky spot, so whenever we can get both of them in, we have the utmost confidence in both those guys. It’s pretty nice.”
The spoils of riches also applied to the Sea Kings offense, with Jake Jellison (3g), Luc Charbonnier (1g, 2a), Landon Smith (2g), Michael Nagy (1g, 1a) and Jack Allegart (1g) all contributing to PV’s goal tally.
Defensively, Palos Verdes was as dominant outside the crease as inside, with Brandon Clark (3gb, 1 cto) and Neil Randall (3gb) leading the way. Randall has seen face-off time this season as well, most notably in PV’s early season win over Harvard Westlake.
“Neil’s our ‘Swiss Army Knife,'” Borell said. “He’s our MVP. He’s our lead captain. He’s everything we want him to be, an outstanding young man. I can’t say enough about him. He’s the hardest worker, and he’s always been that way. He leads by example. We’re lucky to have him with everything he does for us.”
Palos Verdes will look to push its record to 10-0 when it plays host to IMG Academy (Fla.) on Monday at 3:30 p.m. Chaminade will look to get back in the win column on the road Friday at 7 p.m. against No. 17 St. Francis in a Mission League contest.