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Keller Haws SY.JPG

Keller Haws of Santa Ynez tries to shoot the ball between defenders at the Channel League boys water polo finals on Wednesday in Lompoc. 

The first day of competition at the Channel League Boys Water Polo Tournament went the South County’s way on Wednesday in Lompoc.

Santa Barbara collected two wins to secure its spot in the league’s championship game, while Dos Pueblos put together a 25-13 win over Santa Ynez to solidify its appearance in the league’s championship deciding game at the Lompoc Aquatic Center.

Now, Santa Barbara vs. Dos Pueblos will take place at 4:50 p.m inside the L.A.C. on Thursday. The Dons edged San Marcos 13-11 to solidify their spot.

As for Cabrillo and Lompoc, both teams will be in the fifth place contest set for 2:30 p.m. after enduring losses on Wednesday. Santa Ynez will lock up with San Marcos in the battle for third place, slated immediately after the Conquistadores/Braves contest. The Pirates went 1-1 overall in the tournament’s opening day.

Here’s how the three area teams fared in their first-ever appearance in the two-day league finals tournament:

Santa Ynez 10, Cabrillo 5

The Pirates turned to Keller Haws to leap out to a 5-0 lead after the first – and never trailed from there in the five-point win.

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Sage Brady of Cabrillo defends Henry Allen of Santa Ynez during the Channel League Finals held at the Lompoc Aquatic Center last month. Allen earned First Team All-League honors.

Haws fired three goals during the first quarter. Cabrillo didn’t get on the scoreboard until the five minute mark of the second, when Josh Rowe found the back of the net for his first goal of the day.

Rowe tacked on his second goal at the 3:54 mark. However, Clayton Davidson and Haws responded with back-to-back goals, respectively – placing the Pirates up 8-2 at halftime.

In the third, Joseph Blanchard scored first for the Pirates to extend the lead to 9-2. Luke Benchek cut the lead to 9-3 with his goal at the 3:08 mark for Cabrillo. Then, Garrett Stanton lobbed the ball over Drake Clark for the Conquistadores’ next goal, slicing the SYHS lead to five.

However, Haws scored his sixth goal with 38.48 left in the third for the Pirates’ final points of the early contest.

Santa Barbara 12, Lompoc 5

Much like the Pirates, the Dons used a quick first quarter to help seal their first win of the tournament.

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Robbie Theis of Lompoc tries to keep control of the ball during the Braves' contest against Santa Barbara. 

Santa Barbara got up 7-1 in the first by relentlessly attacking the net on offense. Evan Fonseca was the lone Brave who scored during that first period.

In the second, Mark Ainsworth scored next for LHS, which put the Dons lead at 9-2. Ainsworth added a second goal through a penalty shot to make it 10-3. Jarred Torres was the last Brave to score – tossing the next two Brave goals inside the net during the second half.

Dos Pueblos 25, Santa Ynez 13

The Chargers went with a fast paced approach in the pool – and came away scoring at will.

With up to two guys in front of Clark at the net, the Chargers continuously found themselves in scoring position and took full advantage during Wednesday’s 4:20 p.m. contest.

Dos Pueblos first got up to a 7-1 lead in the first as Haws was the only Pirate who scored during the early period. Then, the Chargers built their lead to 12-1 to start the second quarter, before Haws broke the run with his second goal of the contest.

Carrying a 14-3 lead into the third quarter, Dos Pueblos continued to go for long lob passes and its 2-on-1 approach – leading to an 18-4 advantage.

Haws, Jacob Theist and Clayton Davidson would score goals for the Pirates during the third – the latter finishing the game firing in four goals between the cross bars.

Henry Allen added a late goal for the Pirates during the fourth.

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Sports Reporter