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Newport Harbor, Laguna Beach to clash in CIF boys’ water polo playoffs

Newport Harbor, Laguna Beach to clash in CIF boys’ water polo playoffs
Junior center Ike Love, shown shooting against Harvard-Westlake on Oct. 5, is a key player for the Newport Harbor High boys' water polo team. The Sailors are the top seed in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. (Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The newly formed Surf League, a highly competitive Sunset Conference league featuring Newport Harbor, Laguna Beach, Corona del Mar and Huntington Beach, made noise in boys’ water polo this season.

Three of the four teams advanced to the CIF Southern Section playoffs. Two of them will meet in the quarterfinals of the eight-team Division 1 draw.

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Top-seeded Newport Harbor opens its campaign against Laguna Beach in a Division 1 quarterfinal match Thursday, the Sailors and Breakers learned Saturday when brackets were released. Newport Harbor (27-1) won the league and comes into the playoffs with a 19-match winning streak. The Sailors won two of their three major in-season tournaments, the South Coast Tournament and the Memorial Cup.

Newport Harbor beat the second-place Breakers (18-10) twice in Surf League play, earning an 11-7 victory on Sept. 17 and an 8-4 win on Oct. 10.

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Corona del Mar (13-13), which finished third in the league, made the Division 2 playoffs as an at-large team and is seeded No. 4. The Sea Kings play at former Pacific Coast League foe Beckman in a wild-card match Tuesday. Should they win, they would play at rival Long Beach Wilson in a first-round match on Wednesday.

Edison (15-13) and Costa Mesa (16-9) made the playoffs in Division 3. The Chargers, the Wave League runner-up, host Tesoro in a first-round match Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at Ocean View High. Tesoro is the third-place team from the South Coast League.

Orange Coast League champion Costa Mesa moved up to the No. 4 seed in Division 3, and also got a first-round bye. The Mustangs will host either Montebello or Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in a Division 3 second-round match on Thursday.

Sage Hill (11-11), which made the Division 4 playoffs as a freelance team, plays at Almont League champion Montebello Schurr in the first round Tuesday. Schurr is the No. 3 seed in Division 4.

Ocean View (13-13) hosts Glendale in a Division 5 first-round match Tuesday. The Seahawks tied Segerstrom for the regular-season title in the Golden West League, but lost to the Jaguars in the league tournament. Glendale tied for second in the Pacific League.

Los Amigos (17-10) and Estancia (15-11) will both vie in Division 6. The Garden Grove League champion Lobos, ranked No. 6 in the final Division 6 poll, got a first-round bye and host Downey in Thursday’s second round. Estancia, the Orange Coast League runner-up which was ranked No. 8 in the final Division 6 poll, hosts Riverside Ramona in the first round Tuesday.

All matches are scheduled for 5 p.m., unless noted.

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