The newly formed Surf League was tough night in and night out in boys’ basketball, as Newport Harbor, Corona del Mar, Edison and Los Alamitos battled to reach the top of the standings.
As it turned out, each team will be rewarded with a title.
Newport Harbor routed rival CdM 54-29 on the road Wednesday night in a league finale. That result, combined with Los Alamitos’ 60-45 home win over Edison, created a four-way league championship.
All four teams in the league finished with a 3-3 league record.
“It’s like, ‘You get a championship, you get a championship,’” CdM coach Ryan Schachter said. “It was Oprah’s night tonight.”
The four head coaches made a conference call following Wednesday’s results, and randomly drew matchups out of a hat for tiebreaker games Thursday at Marina High. Schachter said that CdM will play Newport Harbor again at 5:30 p.m., followed by Edison against Los Alamitos at 7. The two winners will earn the league’s two automatic berths into the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
The losers will have to apply for at-large berths, though Los Alamitos would not qualify with a sub-.500 overall record.
Newport Harbor (24-4), which shared the Sunset League title with Edison last season, split the Battle of the Bay series with CdM (18-9) this season.
Senior point guard Sam Barela led the way with a game-high 16 points as the Sailors earned their 24th win of the season. Coach Bob Torribio said that tied the program record, matching the 1984-85 and 1997-98 teams.
Barela made five three-pointers. He banked in a straightaway triple from deep in the second quarter, and another one from the left wing in the third. After each basket, he just grinned.
“I don’t know, I had the hot hand,” Barela said. “It was senior night for them, so I tried to give a little bit of my senior spirit. The ball went in for us and it was very lucky. I’m happy to see the ball go in.”
Junior guard Robbie Spooner had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Sailors, and senior forward Dayne Chalmers scored 10.
Overall, the Sailors made 10 three-pointers. Senior center Will Harvey and senior guard Elijah Firey made two shots each from downtown.
“We were making some shots tonight,” Torribio said. “The game is a lot easier when you’re making shots … [Barela] is hard to guard, especially when he’s making shots. There’s not much you can do. He’s a very competitive young man.”
Firey’s corner three-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer, assisted by Barela, gave Newport Harbor a 16-6 lead. The Sailors would keep the lead to at least eight points the rest of the way.
CdM finished with just one three-pointer, by senior Jack Stone, who led the Sea Kings with 11 points. CdM also failed to score double digits in every quarter.
“They didn’t miss tonight … and we just couldn’t get in a rhythm,” said Schachter, who led the Sea Kings to their second league title in three seasons. “The ball was sticky. We were holding the ball too long, taking too long to get into the offense.”
Newport Harbor had the game well in hand during the fourth quarter, when Schachter found out that Los Alamitos was up on Edison by 19 points. He yelled it over to Torribio.
“Congratulations, league champs!” Torribio responded with a grin.
Schachter also grinned.
“You too!” he said.
The Sailors and Sea Kings will do it all again on Thursday, though both can call themselves league champions.
“Everybody gets T-shirts,” Torribio said.
Newport Harbor 54, Corona del Mar 29
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Newport Harbor 16 –14 – 11 – 13 — 54
Corona del Mar 6 – 8 – 9 – 6 — 29
NH – Barela 16, Spooner 11, Chalmers 10, Harvey 6, Firey 6, Forbath 2, McConnaughey 2, Darrow 1.
3-pt. goals – Barela 5, Firey 2, Harvey 2, Spooner 1.
Fouled out – None.
Technicals – None.
CdM – Stone 11, Humphreys 5, Garbers 4, Olson 3, J. Garza 2, Truninger 2, Overfelt 2.
3-pt. goals – Stone 1.
Fouled out – None.