Advertisement
High School Sports

Harvard-Westlake beats Newport Harbor for Division 1 boys’ water polo title

Harvard-Westlake players celebrate after defeating Newport Harbor for the Southern Section Division 1 boys’ water polo title on Saturday in Irvine.
Harvard-Westlake players celebrate after defeating Newport Harbor for the Southern Section Division 1 boys’ water polo title on Saturday in Irvine.
(Christine Cotter / For The Times)

The Studio City Harvard-Westlake boys’ water polo team again came up with an inspired defensive effort in its biggest match of the year.

A championship-level defense lifted the Wolverines on Saturday night in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 title match against a Newport Harbor team with a ton of scoring threats.

Top-seeded Harvard-Westlake never trailed and beat the No. 2-seeded Sailors 6-4 at Woollett Aquatics Center, winning for the second straight year in a rematch of last year’s final.

Six players scored for Harvard-Westlake (28-2), as Nico Tierney, George Avakian, George Caras, Mot Stothart, Ethan Shipman and Shay Gillearn netted one goal each. But it was the defense anchored by Stanford-bound senior goalkeeper Nolan Krutonog, who made 14 saves, that was the story.

Advertisement

In beating Newport Harbor (26-4) for the third time in four tries this year, Harvard-Westlake also held the Sailors to a season-low goal total in the CIF final for the second straight year.

Harvard-Westlake held Newport Harbor scoreless for the first 11-plus minutes of Saturday’s match and also held the Sailors’ talented center combination of senior Ike Love and junior Eli Liechty to no goals.

“That’s insane,” Harvard-Westlake coach Brian Flacks said. “My kids are remarkable, that’s the only way to say it. These kids work hard, so hard all year round. I think we take a ton of pride in our preparation. We get a chance to play these guys all year, and we did a phenomenal job executing tonight on both ends. I thought similar to last year, there were a lot of opportunities for both teams that we could have scored. Krutonog and [Newport Harbor goalkeeper] Blake Jackson were both incredible.”

Advertisement

Jackson, bound for USC, also had 14 saves.


Newsletter
Go beyond the scoreboard

Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.
Advertisement