The Laguna Beach 12-and-Under girls' water polo team took the silver medal at last week's National Junior Olympic Championships at USC.
In battling through the top 24 teams in the nation in a grueling four-day tournament, the local squad capped an unbelievable run that nearly led to Laguna's second straight national title in two years. The Laguna girls fought their way through some tough, early-round victories and hit their stride in their semifinal match by trouncing perennial power Santa Barbara, 13-4.
In the championship game, the Laguna girls came out flat and found themselves in a deep 5-0 hole late into the second quarter against a highly experienced Commerce team. The crowd on hand — and the opposing team — seemed convinced the championship game was going to be a huge blowout. But right before the halftime buzzer, Laguna Beach scored off a blistering counter attack to bring the halftime score to 5-1.