Tars own this battle

Boys' Water Polo

Newport Harbor tops rival Corona del Mar, 9-7, to win the S&R Sport Cup.

October 08, 2011|By Matt Szabo
(Courtesy of Doug…)

IRVINE — It was physical from the very start.

Players from the Newport Harbor High and Corona del Mar boys' water polo teams never stopped jostling for position. The game had a playoff atmosphere with CIF still a month away, and it was easy to understand why.

This was the teams' first rivalry match of the year, under the lights in the title match of the S&R Sport Cup.

But the Sailors did the most important thing as tempers momentarily flared up Saturday night. They went up on the scoreboard at Woollett Aquatics Center.

Top-seeded Newport Harbor built a lead in the first half and defeated CdM, 9-7, for the title.

As an assistant coach on the U.S. men's senior national team and co-coach of the junior national team, Robert Lynn has coached in plenty of intense games against powerhouse European programs. The first-year Newport Harbor coach smiled when asked about his first official matchup against the Sailors' Back Bay rivals.


"It's intense, it's good," Lynn said. "Yeah, it's a rivalry. The Battle of the Bay is going to be a battle of the bay. It's going to be fun."

Newport Harbor (13-1) had more fun Saturday, scoring the first four goals of the game. Andrew Silvers, who had a strong game with two goals and two exclusions drawn, helped make sure Newport Harbor did not earn silver at the tournament.

He scored from two meters on the Sailors' first possession. Fellow junior Curtis Fink also scored in the first quarter, then Silvers and senior Farrel South scored on six-on-five shots in the second. With 4:21 left before halftime, it was 4-0, Newport Harbor.

The Sailors, ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division I coaches' poll, played the kind of team water polo that Lynn has been preaching. It showed in their power-play, where they converted five of seven opportunities against the Sea Kings.

"We're working for each other," Lynn said. "We're sacrificing more, and you can just see it's paying off. We're attacking the blocks a little better, working for each other on our legs a little better and [showing more] patience. Today our meeting was talking about being patient on six-on-five … most of the time it was very controlled."

Corona del Mar (10-3), top-ranked in Division II, could not quite come all the way back from another slow start. Jake Wyatt scored before halftime, then Ari Marks scored from the outside with 5:52 left in the third quarter, cutting the deficit in half.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles