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Perfect! Kings win CIF championship. Finish 24-0

 In true championship form, the Sea Kings rallied from a 5-1 deficit, took their first lead with 10:45 remaining in the game, and held on to defeat Palos Verdes (20-3) 7-6 to remain undefeated and claim the 2012 CIF Southern Section championship. 

With the win, CDM becomes the first team in the CIF era to go undefeated 
(24-0) and claim the CIF Southern Section title in boys lacrosse.

Palos Verdes looked as if they might run away with the hardware early, taking a commanding 4-0 lead with 3:29 remaining in the half, but senior attackman Hunter Molnar found Jack Ortlieb (Jr/Attack) for the Sea Kings' first score with 1:34 left in the half. PV answered right back thirty seconds later to bring the margin back to 4. But it was Michael Keasey's goal, on another assist from Molnar with eight seconds to go in the half that seemed to signal a slight shift in the momentum.

"Once we settled down in the second quarter, we felt like we were getting plenty of good looks at the cage (23 shots in the first half). We just needed to start finishing the ball. We were being a little too concerned with our shot placement."

"At halftime we talked to the kids about staying the course offensively, but just shooting rather than thinking about it. We felt we could defend them pretty well in the half field so we talked about limiting their transition opportunities. I thought we were much better riding in the second half and played a lot smarter between the restraining lines."

While the coaches went over a few strategic points at halftime, it was the seniors who may have had the most impact on the game's final outcome.

"We said what we needed to say from a strategy standpoint and then left the balance of the time to our leaders," Mix said regarding the halftime comments. "This senior class has done such a good job of talking to their teammates about what needs to get done and then going out and finding a way to do it. The best adjustment we made at halftime was making no adjustment at all."

With a more focussed riding game, and more patient offense, the time of possession began to tip far in the favor of CDM in the second half. The Kings outshot the "other Sea Kings" 20-10 in the second half (43-23 overall) and outscored them 4-1 in the third quarter. 

Michael Keasey brought the score to 5-3 with a goal at the 9:15 mark of the third quarter. 
Three minutes later, junior attackman Casey Mix brought CDM to within one. Fellow junior Jack Ortlieb found Mix again forty-five seconds later, and he tied the game at 5 apiece. 

Palos Verdes scored with 2:41 remaining, but junior Brett Nelson added a reply with :46 left to tie the game and create a scenario where the fourth quarter would serve as a twelve minute CIF Championship game.

Keasey gave CDM its first lead of the day with 10:45 remaining, and from that moment on, fans were treated to a spectacular display of goaltending and team defense. Senior goaltender Michael Ortlieb recorded 10 saves (.625%), four in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

"Michael Ortlieb was unbelievable when it mattered," said Mix. "He made some big time saves to preserve that win. He showed why he is one of the best there is in high school lacrosse. His performance in the closing minutes was the difference."

CDM fought off numerous possessions and a one minute man-up opportunity for Palos Verdes with 1:25 remaining. Ortlieb showed why he's one of the best in the business, making multiple saves and paving the way for CDM's first-ever CIF boys lacrosse championship.

Senior face-off specialist Taylor Epp continued to display his prowess, winning 8 of 16 face-offs against the top face-off specvialist in L.A. County.

"We had some real concerns about their ability to control face-offs," Mix commented. "Once again, Taylor was able to put those concerns to rest very early and give us every chance to control and maintain possessions."

The Sea Kings finished the season ranked #1 in California's CIF Southern Section and #5 in the state (final 2012 California state rankings still pending).

"This group of kids is remarkable," Mix added. "They have overcome so many challenges, on the field and off, all season long. They handled every bit of it together. To find great reward at the end of such a journey is rare. I am just so happy for them."

Click here to view highlights from the 2012 CIF Southern Section Championship.