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High Schools: Battle of Bay on hiatus

January 09, 2012|By David Carrillo Penaloza
  • [ewport Harbor High Coach Larry Hirst, left, instructs Brian Robbs on Saturday at Estancia High.
[ewport Harbor High Coach Larry Hirst, left, instructs… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

The high school rivalry between Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor takes place in almost every sport.

The Battle of the Bay is intense, friendly and it brings the community together. And the Back Bay rivalry is one of the best in Orange County.

Name the venue and the two programs compete against each other on the gridiron, in the pool, on the course, on the diamond, on the pitch, on the track, on the field, on the mat, and on the court practically every year.

One court the Sea Kings and Sailors have not met recently is the one on which the boys' basketball teams play.

For the second straight season, the Battle of the Bay isn't happening.

What is troubling is that the two schools have been unable to find a date to schedule the annual big hoops game. There is plenty of time to find a date that works for both programs.

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"We've got about seven or eight weeks before we get to league," CdM Coach Ryan Schachter said with a smile after his team opened Pacific Coast League play last week. "Is there time? I don't know."

Schachter knows there is time for the Battle of the Bay every season. He is always looking for games.

Don Grable, the athletic director at CdM, said Newport Harbor's schedule was full.

The real question is whether Newport Harbor wants to face CdM.

If there's a school that should be hesitant to play the Battle of the Bay, it should be CdM. CdM has around 1,000 fewer students than Newport Harbor, which has enrollment of about 2,500.

But the Sea Kings (9-7), ranked No. 5 in the CIF Southern Section Division 3A poll, aren't afraid of the bigger school.

Since Schachter took over at CdM in 2006-07, the Sea Kings have owned the Battle of the Bay, winning every time. In Schachter's first four seasons, the Sea Kings and Sailors played. The games were close, the margin of victory being about 11 points per game.

Where the two programs stand isn't even remotely close. This might be a reason why the Sailors don't want to play CdM.

The Sea Kings have enjoyed far more success in the previous five seasons than the Sailors have during the same stretch.

Under Schachter, CdM has won a CIF Southern Section Division III-A title, reached the quarterfinals three times and claimed four Pacific Coast League titles.

The Sailors haven't come close to contending for a Sunset League crown since 2007-08, when they finished one game behind champion Los Alamitos. Since then, Newport Harbor has missed the playoffs twice in three seasons.

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