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Back Bay rivals both given seeds

Newport Harbor is No. 2 and CdM No. 3 in CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs, set for Wednesday.

February 15, 2010|By DAVID CARRILLO PE√ĎALOZA

Back Bay high school rivals Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar enter the CIF Southern Section Division I girls’ water polo playoffs as the No. 2 and No. 3 seed, respectively.

Newport Harbor Coach Bill Barnett expected the second seed Sunday, when the section released its playoff pairings. The Sea Kings received a higher seed than they anticipated because of the Sailors’ seed.

“They couldn’t put us in the same side of the bracket as Los Alamitos,” said Barnett, whose Sailors play in the Sunset League with the Griffins.

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Barnett is OK with the Sailors (22-5) helping out the Sea Kings (19-8).

The Sunset League champion Sailors probably won’t have to face fourth-seeded Los Alamitos (26-3) for a fourth time. If they do, it will be for the championship.

The Sailors and Sea Kings open the playoffs at home Wednesday. Whereas Pacific Coast League champion CdM knows its first-round opponent in Long Beach Poly (14-13), Newport Harbor finds out its opponent today.

The Sailors face the winner of today’s wild-card game between Laguna Hills (15-10) and Mater Dei (10-14).

As to what team Barnett wants to see Wednesday, it’s an easy answer.

“The easiest one, whichever one that is,” Barnett said with a laugh. “The misnomer is that Mater Dei is the third [representative] from the Trinity League, but [it] was tri-champion. A coin flip decided who would be the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 [representatives] out of that league.

“Mater Dei is dangerous, and you can’t overlook any team.”

The Sailors are headed toward a collision course with top-seeded Dos Pueblos of Goleta. The Chargers are the defending champions. No one has been able to beat Dos Pueblos this season in 27 matches.

Newport Harbor has tried twice and has come up short each time. In one of the games, the Sailors were without their top player, Kaleigh Gilchrist.

The USC-bound senior leads Newport Harbor with 82 goals, 41 assists and 39 steals.

Newport Harbor and CdM can meet in the semifinals. The Sea Kings have advanced to the Division I title match in each of the past two seasons.

Making a third straight Division I final appearance will be tough. The Sea Kings lost a lot of talent to graduation. They also enter the postseason coming off of an 8-3 setback at home against Laguna Beach in the regular-season finale.

CdM Coach Aaron Chaney wasn’t too happy with the result. The Sea Kings will try to regroup against Long Beach Poly.

The Jackrabbits are the second-place team out of the Moore League. The two teams haven’t played this season. The Sea Kings have defeated Long Beach Wilson, the Moore League champion, once this season.

Long Beach Wilson beat Long Beach Poly in league play.

CdM is led by senior co-captains Victoria Kent and Margot Money.


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