One defender after another stretched an arm high to swat away a shot attempt. The man-advantage hummed at an efficient clip. And Grant Loth controlled the tempest waters at 2 meters.
Mater Dei’s boys water polo team showed Tuesday night, March 9 that it has regained many of the traits that made it a seven-time CIF-Southern Section champion.
The Monarchs played strong defense, shared the ball on the power play and attacked from center in a 14-7 victory against visiting Orange Lutheran to improve to 2-0 in the Trinity League. Mater Dei also beat JSerra 14-7 last week in its league opener.
The UCLA-bound Loth paced the Monarchs with seven goals, including two even-strength strikes from set and four on the power-play. The Monarchs finished 7 for 8 with the extra defender but also racked up 10 field blocks on defense.
The COVID-shortened season might be ending soon but the Monarchs appear on their way to making a point under third-year coach Brian Anderson.
“This is a good team,” he said. “We rebuilt Mater Dei.”
Last season, the Monarchs lost in the first round of the Division 1 playoffs to eventual champion Harvard-Westlake but look much improved. They feature three strong juniors in attacker Logan McCarroll, defender Luke Redoutey and sprinter Ryan McManigal.
McManigal recorded two goals and three field blocks, including a thumping stuff at the end of the third period against the Lancers’ power-play. Orange Lutheran went 4 for 10 on the man-advantage.
Attacker Vince Merk, another promising junior, also collected three field blocks, a goal and two assists.
Luth was backed up at center by his sophomore brother Carter, who scored twice off the bench.
Mater Dei sophomore goalie Nathan Tauscher made eight saves to keep up with Orange Lutheran standout senior Brennis Lidecis, who had nine in three periods, including a penalty block against McCarroll.
“If we play as a team, we’ll take the W,” Grant Loth said. “We want to make the best of every moment. We want to come out strong, go up right away and put the pressure on.”
Mater Dei’s goal of capturing the Trinity League title will encounter another major test Tuesday against visiting Santa Margarita. The Eagles beat JSerra 20-3 in another match Tuesday.
Senior center Andrew Barnuevo scored three goals to lead Orange Lutheran.
In the girls match, Orange Lutheran edged Mater Dei 13-11 in overtime.
HONOLULU, Hawaii – Chance Hunter had 23 points, nine rebounds and four steals and had a great look to be the hero for Long Beach State, but the final shot didn’t fall and Hawaii handed LBSU a 78-76 defeat late Friday night in the opener of their two-game Big West Conference series.
Long Beach (5-8 overall, 4-5 Big West) had an outstanding opportunity in the final seconds after Hawaii’s Casdon Jardine threw the ball out of bounds with seven seconds left. Long Beach set up a play for its hottest shooter in Hunter, who was open on the wing but the shot came up short and the Rainbow Warriors (9-8, 7-8 Big West) held on for the win.
LBSU opted for a smaller, four-guard starting lineup and opened a 16-5 lead in the first six minutes, pushing its lead to 16 points on a jumper from Hunter with just over six minutes left in the first half. Long Beach shot 56 percent in the first half, going 5 for 10 from 3-point range, but Hawaii settled down in the closing minutes and trimmed the margin to 39-30 by the intermission.
LBSU still shot well in the second half but Hawaii outdid them at 63 percent, including a 5-for-7 mark from beyond the arc. The Warriors took their first lead at 61-60 at the 10-minute mark, and neither team led by more than four the rest of the way.
Isaiah Washington had 17 points and a team-high four assists for Long Beach, but the senior guard battled cramps throughout and played a season-low 28 minutes. Jadon Jones added 12 points and Michael Carter III had 11.
Justin Webster had 16 points to pace Hawaii. JoVon McClanahan had 13 points, Justin Hemsley added 12 points and seven rebounds and Mate Colina had 10 points.
The teams square off again on Saturday at 7 p.m. PT.
In this Feb. 15, 1978, file photo, Leon Spinks celebrates as his entourage holds him aloft after his 15-round split-decision victory over world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali in Las Vegas. Former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks Jr. died Friday night after battling prostate and other cancers. He was 67. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi, File)
In this July 31, 1976, file photo, the United States’ Leon Spinks lets a right fly at the face of Cuba’s Sixto Soria during light heavyweight boxing action at the Olympics in Montreal. Former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks Jr. died Friday night, Feb. 5, 2021, after battling prostate and other cancers. He was 67. (AP Photo/File)
In this Feb. 15, 1978, file photo, the fist of challenger Leon Spinks flattens the nose of heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali during their title fight at Las Vegas. Former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks Jr. died Friday night, Feb. 5, 2021, after battling prostate and other cancers. He was 67. (AP Photo/File)
Leon Spinks connects with a right hook to Muhammad Ali during the later rounds of their Feb.16, 1978 championship fight in Las Vegas. The 24-year-old Spinks, who won the bout in a 15-round split decision, died Friday night after battling prostate and other cancers. He was 67. (AP Photo)
In this Feb. 15, 1978, file photo, Leon Spinks celebrates as his entourage holds him aloft after his 15-round split decision victory over world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali in Las Vegas. Former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks Jr. died Friday night, Feb. 5, 2021, after battling prostate and other cancers. He was 67. (AP Photo/FIle)
LAS VEGAS — Leon Spinks, who won Olympic gold and then shocked the boxing world by beating Muhammad Ali to win the heavyweight title in only his eighth pro fight, has died. He was 67.
Spinks, who lived his later years in Las Vegas, died Friday night, according to a release from a public relations firm. He had been battling prostate and other cancers.
His wife, Brenda Glur Spinks, and a few close friends and other family members were by his side when he passed away.
A lovable heavyweight with a drinking problem, Spinks beat Ali by decision in a 15-round fight in 1978 to win the title. He was unranked at the time and picked as an opponent because Ali was looking for an easy fight.
He got anything but that, with an unorthodox Spinks swarming over Ali throughout the fight on his way to a stunning win by split decision. The two met seven months later at the Superdome in New Orleans, with Ali taking the decision this time before a record indoor boxing crowd of 72,000 and a national television audience estimated at 90 million people.
“It was one of the most unbelievable things when Ali agreed to fight him because you look at the fights he had up to then and he was not only not a top contender but shouldn’t have been a contender at all,” promoter Bob Arum said Saturday. “He was just an opponent but somehow he found a way to win that fight.”
Spinks would lose the rematch to Ali in New Orleans and fought for the title only once after that, when he was stopped in the third round in 1981 by Larry Holmes. He continued fighting on and off into the mid-1990s, finishing with a record of 26-17-3.
Spinks, with a big grin that often showed off his missing front teeth, was popular among boxing fans for both his win over Ali and his easygoing personality. But he burned through his earnings quickly, and at one point after retiring was working as a custodian at a YMCA in Nebraska, cleaning locker rooms.
He later was part of a group of ex-fighters who had their brains studied by the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. Spinks was found to have brain damage caused by a combination of taking punches to the head and heavy drinking, though he functioned well enough to do autograph sessions and other events late in his life.
“He was a good soul,” said Gene Kilroy, who was Ali’s business manager when he fought Spinks and became friends with the fighter.
Spinks won the light heavyweight division at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, beating Sixto Soria of Cuba in an upset to become one of five U.S. fighters to win gold. His brother, Michael, who would later become heavyweight champion himself, won the middleweight gold, and Sugar Ray Leonard took the welterweight title.
Spinks was hardly spectacular after turning pro, winning six of his first seven fights. Just four months before he met Ali, he could manage just a draw with journeyman Scott LeDoux and he wasn’t on anyone’s radar in the heavyweight title picture.
But Ali was coming off a brutal fight with Earnie Shavers and wasn’t looking forward to what would have been a mandatory bout against Ken Norton, whom he had already fought three times and who seemed to have Ali’s number. Instead, he sought an easy mark for a fight that was to be nationally televised on ABC, even knowing he would be stripped of one of his titles for taking another fight.
Enter Spinks, who was such a big underdog most sportsbooks didn’t even take bets on the fight.
“In that fight, everything clicked,” Arum said. “He came in with a game plan and he beat Ali. It wasn’t that Ali wasn’t at his best, but Leon shocked everybody with how good Leon was.”
Suddenly, Spinks was the heavyweight champion of the world at the age of 25.
“I’m not The Greatest,” Spinks said afterward. “Just the latest.”
Arum was in the dressing room with Ali after the fight and said Ali directed him to sign Spinks to a quick rematch. The two fought seven months later in a prime-time fight on CBS that set television viewing records at the time, with nearly half the country tuning in.
Ali took the rematch more seriously than he did the first fight, winning a decision though Spinks was competitive. Spinks might have been better, Arum said, but he enjoyed the life of being heavyweight champion too much and partied much of the time between fights.
“Leon posed in a bathtub with a glass of champagne smoking a cigar. He suddenly had an entourage as big as one that Ali had,” Arum said. “We were all staying at the same hotel in New Orleans for the rematch and one morning I was coming down to breakfast and Leon got in the elevator and collapsed on the floor. Obviously, he had been out drinking and I said, ‘Leon, are you crazy, you’re fighting in just a few days.’ He said ‘What do you mean? I’m just coming in from roadwork.’”
Among the notable people in Spinks’ entourage was Lawrence Tureaud, who would later be known as the actor Mr. T and served as a bodyguard for the champion.
Spinks was born July 11, 1953, in St. Louis, raised in poverty along with his brother Michael. After discovering boxing both brothers became top amateurs, culminating in the 1976 Olympics where Leon won the light heavyweight gold and Michael won the middleweight gold.
Michael Spinks would go on to win the heavyweight title himself in 1985, defending it three times before being knocked out by Mike Tyson in 91 seconds in their 1988 fight in Atlantic City. By then, the best part of Leon’s career was over, though he would fight until losing a December 1995 fight against Fred Houpe in St. Louis.
After moving to Las Vegas, Spinks was married to Brenda Glur Spinks in 2011. The two were often seen at boxing-related activities, including Spinks’ 2017 induction into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.
“He was happy-go-lucky, the salt of the earth,” Arum said, chuckling at the memories. “Leon was nutty but you couldn’t get angry at the guy. He never meant any harm to anyone. You couldn’t help but love him even though you shook your head at how he acted.”
SANTA ANA — A 20-year-old man was killed in a Santa Ana shooting and the shooter was at large Thursday morning.
Officers responded about 11 p.m. Wednesday to the 200 block of South Raitt street, near First Street, and found a Honda Accord crashed against a curb and pole and the victim inside with at least one gunshot wound, according to Cmdr. S. Enriquez of the Santa Ana Police Department.
The victim was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A description of the shooter was not immediately available.
The name of the victim was not disclosed.
The intersection of Raitt and First streets was closed after the incident.
Rogelio Martinez-Cuin admitted one count each of gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury, both felonies, as well as a misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended or revoked license due to a DUI, according to court records.
Martinez-Cuin was scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 17.
Martinez-Cuin ran a red light, was inattentive and driving at an unsafe speed, according to the criminal complaint.
Michael David Tomlinson of Aliso Viejo, 51, was riding on Westridge Drive, crossing Woods Canyon Drive, when he was struck by a Volvo about 6:40 a.m. Jan. 30, 2019, according to Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The driver kept going, but witnesses gave deputies a vehicle description, she said.
The vehicle was found about a mile away, and deputies arrested Martinez-Cuin a short distance from the Volvo, Braun said.
The Rams travel to Miami to play the Dolphins in a nonconference showdown, fresh off a Monday night football victory over the Bears. The Dolphins are coming into the game on a 2-game win streak and a bye week.
Legendary former Mater Dei football coach Dick Coury, who helped build the Monarchs into a powerhouse before embarking on a long and successful career at the collegiate and professional levels, died Saturday, Aug. 15, announced Lake Oswego High in Oregon, where Coury’s son Steve is the football coach.
The announcement, from the official twitter account of the Lake Oswego football program, said Coury was 91.
“He treated everyone he came in contact with like they were the most important person in the world,” Lake Oswego tweeted. “Even with all of his accomplishments in coaching, he will be remembered more for the type of person he was.”
While he helped with the Lake Oswego team, Coury also could be spotted at Mater Dei in retirement. He attended the Monarchs’ pre-game ceremony for the 1950 and 1960 team in 2015.
Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson, who hoisted Coury’s arm before the 2015 game, played for Coury at Mater Dei.
“I’ve known Coach Coury since around the seventh grade and have always admired him as both a great coach and a great person,” said Phil Anton, a longtime observer of Orange County football and former chairman of the county all-star game.