Corona del Mar jumped ahead early and never looked back, breezing to a 9-5 victory over Newport Harbor Wednesday in a Sea View League water polo game at Corona del Mar.
"It was a good win," Corona del Mar Coach John Vargas said. "They (the Sea Kings) knew this was an important game. They came out and played hard and I'm proud of them."
Corona del Mar (9-1, 2-0 in league) appeared to be in control from the game's opening minutes. "I thought we would match up well with Newport Harbor," said Vargas. "Crosby (Grant) did a good job and helped create matchup problems."
Grant and Neil Hueston each scored a goal in the opening two minutes to get the Sea Kings started. Kevin Tucker's goal and Hueston's buzzer-beater gave Corona del Mar a 4-1 lead after the first quarter.
Adam McFarland scored the only goal of the second quarter to give the Sea Kings a 5-1 halftime lead.
"The defense was good," Vargas said. "They did a good job on defense, but they started to play lazy. . . . but they did well in the end."
Hueston gave the Sea Kings their biggest lead of the game, 6-1, when he scored 30 seconds into the third quarter.
The Sailors responded with goals by Brad Pence and Gabe Wyatt to cut the lead to 6-3. However, the Sailors would not get any closer. James Palda scored to give the Sea Kings a comfortable 7-3 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The teams traded scores in the fourth quarter. McFarland's second goal of the game made it 8-3, but Pence's third goal cut the deficit to 8-4.
Hueston scored his game-high fourth goal in the final minute to make it 9-4, but the Sailors' Adam Cleary scored on a penalty shot for the final margin.
Goalkeeper Greg Sawyer finished with eight saves for Corona del Mar, the county's third-ranked team. Jason Marsh had seven saves for Newport Harbor (6-4, 2-1), which is ranked fifth.