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Boys' Water Polo: Possible semifinal matchup highlights playoffs

Newport Harbor, the No. 3 seed in CIF Southern Section Division 1, could meet Harvard-Westlake in the semifinals.

November 11, 2013|By Steve Virgen
(KEVIN CHANG / Daily…)

Newport Harbor boys' water polo coach Robert Lynn is not one to talk about a potential opponent in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs and look past the first round.

But Lynn was willing to talk about No. 2-seeded Harvard-Westlake because he had coached there prior to Newport Harbor and helped with the building of a strong program for the Wolverines.

Newport Harbor, one of three Newport-Mesa area teams in the playoffs, is the No. 3 seed and if the brackets hold up, the Sailors will meet Harvard-Westlake in the semifinals Nov. 20 at William Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine. The Wolverines beat Newport Harbor, 20-11, Sept. 20.

"The guys who are there now, I was helping formulate that team and it's a pretty good team," Lynn said Sunday after the playoff pairings were released. "It wasn't just about water polo when I left [two years ago]. I love those guys too. I was teaching at the middle school and getting them ready. That team is a very close team … But if we see them, we will definitely want to beat them."

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Newport Harbor (21-4), the Sunset League champion, will need to win two games to reach the semifinals and the Sailors will start with a home game in the first round Wednesday against Long Beach Millikan (15-11), the Moore League's second-place team. The start time is scheduled for 5 p.m.

"We are playing pretty good right now, getting more confident and playing more as a team," Lynn said. "We played our best game when it mattered the most [in a 13-7 win over Huntington Beach for the Sunset League title Wednesday]. Our confidence level is good. We are getting the goals that we weren't getting before."

CdM (16-11), which shared the Pacific Coast League title with Northwood, received a challenging draw. The Sea Kings entered the playoffs as the PCL's No. 2 entry after losing a coin toss to the Timberwolves.

CdM opens the playoffs at home against Huntington Beach (20-9) Wednesday at a time to be determined. The Sea Kings beat the Oilers, 8-5, Sept. 26.

"We played them early this year and it was a close game," said CdM Coach Barry O'Dea, who has been pleased with his team's defense recently. "I know they've gotten better. We've gotten better. It should be a tough game. It's going to be kind of fun."

Wednesday's winner is set up to play against top-seeded Mater Dei (26-1), which had its win streak stopped at 105 games by San Diego Cathedral Catholic Saturday.

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