Ike Love of Newport Harbor boys’ water polo is Surf League MVP

Junior center Ike Love had a team-best 85 goals for the Newport Harbor High boys' water polo team this season.
Junior center Ike Love had a team-best 85 goals for the Newport Harbor High boys’ water polo team this season.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Junior center Ike Love of Newport Harbor High boys’ water polo has earned Surf League MVP honors after helping the Sailors win the inaugural league title.

Love is joined on the first team by Sailors senior Jack White and juniors Makoto Kenney and goalkeeper Blake Jackson. Laguna Beach senior Colton Gregory and junior goalkeeper Caden Capobianco also earned first-team accolades, as did Corona del Mar junior Tanner Pulice and Huntington Beach senior Reilly Pfeiffer.

Love led the Sailors (32-2, 6-0 in league) with 85 goals, adding 26 steals and eight assists. His 78 ejections earned also led the team. He helped Newport Harbor win its second straight league title after claiming the Sunset League crown last season.

Newport Harbor reached the CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship match, losing 5-3 to Studio City Harvard-Westlake. Newport Harbor came back to win the CIF State Southern California Regional Division I title, beating Harvard-Westlake 10-9 in the title match.

White, an attacker, and Kenney, a utility player, each tallied 68 goals to tie for second on Newport Harbor. White added 37 assists and a team-best 69 steals, while Kenney had a team-best 60 assists and was second on the team with 68 steals.

Jackson made 391 saves and had 37 steals.

Gregory and Capobianco helped Laguna Beach (19-12, 3-3) finish second in the league and advance to the Division 1 quarterfinals, where the Breakers lost 9-6 to Newport Harbor. Laguna Beach beat San Clemente 10-8 in the Division 1 seventh-place match.

Gregory, an attacker, had a team-best 91 goals for Laguna Beach and also tied for the team lead with 31 assists. Capobianco made 272 saves.

Pulice led CdM (16-14, 2-4) with 109 goals and 60 steals. The attacker was second on the Sea Kings with 36 assists, helping them finish third in the league and earn an at-large berth into the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs. CdM lost 12-10 to Foothill in the Division 2 semifinals.

Pfeiffer was an attacker for Huntington Beach (12-14, 1-5). The Oilers finished fourth in the Surf League and failed to qualify for the postseason.

Newport Harbor senior attacker Jake Liechty and junior defender Reed Stemler earned second-team honors. Laguna Beach junior attacker James Nolan and freshman attacker Logan McCarroll were also second-team selections, as were CdM senior defender Shane Papa, CdM senior center Matt Ueberroth and Huntington Beach senior attacker Saxon Varon.

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