Newport Harbor has scored 48 goals in its first three games.
"We countered pretty hard, and I think we did decent on defense," said senior utility player Andrew Duhoux, who was just that with three goals, four assists and four steals. "We could have held them to a few less goals, but other than that, I really think we're starting to come together on offense and as a team. Without our coach here, we're trying to pull together even more."
That coach is Jason Lynch, who is in the midst of a two-week suspension as it was recently discovered the Sailors used an academically ineligible player last fall. The team had to forfeit 25 victories, all but one of its wins from 2009.
The interim head man is Corey Delahunt, an assistant who played for Lynch at Costa Mesa High. He stressed a familiar theme Saturday night as well, before the Sailors hosted their San Diego opponents to what has become the annual tradition of a postmatch dinner.
"It's the most fun thing to do in water polo, shoot the ball and score goals," Delahunt said. "But our primary focus is getting kids to play some solid defense for four quarters. That's always our goal here at Newport, and we try to keep our [opponent] to five or six goals, maximum. Tonight we weren't able to do that, but we were fortunate to get all those counterattacks and score all those goals. It was fun."
Junior Farrel South scored six times for the Sailors, showing off his rocket shot several times, including one goal from near midpool and another hard backhander from set. South said he has thrown it sidearmed since he was a little kid, compared to the traditional motion of throwing overhand.
It's one of the strongest shots in high school, but South and his teammates are more interested in becoming one of the strongest teams in high school.
"We're a pretty young team," South said. "We lost 14 seniors last year and now we have five, and we're building as a group. It's a pretty strong unit."