The Pelicanos Take to the Air, Still Lose to OC
Yesterday's disappointing loss to San Diego meant today was a must win for Orange County. Early on, the good news was that the fog seemed to be parked near Newport, but the bad - the glassy conditions of the previous day were now only a memory. The wind was on it early and HB was back to its usual crunchy, chewy self - which seemed to suit the Octopus just fine. Ventura was missing all of their lethal Curren/Curran trio and the loss of all that star power was on display in the 1st Quarter as the lineup of Ellison, Ryan, Virs and Cuccia could only come up with 22 points. OC responded with a decent, if not spectacular 24.5 as Shaun Ward and Nate Yeomans both found ramps and pockets in the wind-tattered lineup.
Ventura tried to mount a comeback in the top of the 2nd with the a squad of marquee names like Dane Reynolds and Keith and Dan Malloy. Dane busted a clean frontside reverse on a smaller wave near the pier, but Da Malloy wasn't able to get in sync and the Pelicanos only finished with a 20.75 quarters. The OC consistency machine rolled into gear in the bottom of the 2nd as the wind backed off a little and Brett Simpson showed off his powerful, radically squared off backside attack on pier bowl left, leading his team to a lead of 8.75 points at the half.
In the 3rd, Adam Virs turned a big float/carve combo on a set wave into a 7.75, but no one else got much of anything and the writing was on the wall. OC was in control on its to a championship rematch with San Diego.
Mike Todd stepped on a stingray on his next go out, but didn't let his throbbing foot stop him from powering into a 7.75 while Nate Yeomans did one of the best fins out gouges of the whole California Cup for a 8.0. OC was now up by 15.25 points and Ventura needed a miracle to stay alive. They nearly got one as Dane Reynolds decided to go absolutely ballistic. He thrilled the Sunday spectators with a huge one-hand grab with some serious hang time on a right near the pier. A few minutes later, he paddled down the beach into a closeout where he somehow found a useable ramp – from which he launched into a massive 360 air reverse - rotating the whole way around before a picture perfect landing. The crowd went nuts and the judges scored it the first 10 of the year. A ten for a single maneuver felt a little generous but it was pretty spectacular. Despite the perfect score from the super freak, OC only found itself needing a 7.5 in the bottom of 4th to win. They got it almost instantly as a set poured through at the start of the grace period and Mike Losness, Chris Drummy and Brett Simpson attacked it mercilessly.
Ventura was done for the year - finishing 4-4 – having not been able to get a win outside of home waters. The orange men, meanwhile, are juiced up for a best two out of three championship against San Diego, starting tomorrow at HB.
OC – 95.75
VC – 85.75