CIF – Southern Section boys’ water polo playoffs took place in early November, and the finals were played on November 11.
Top 8 teams of Division 1 were determined based on their results and standings. Hence, the participants of the final tournament were: Mater Dei (24-3), Orange Lutheran (24-2), Oaks Christian (21-5), Newport Harbor (22-5), Santa Margarita (17-4), Huntington Beach (16-7), Harvard-Westlake (15-12) and Loyola (16-11).
Pairings of the Top 8 tournament caught attention. Top-seeded Mater Dei and Loyola recently defeated Loyola (8:6), while Newport celebrated after the close encounter with Margarita in September which went into overtime (9:8). Oaks Christian was in October edged out by Huntington Beach (11:10), and Lutheran/Orange was the league runner-up to Harvard-Westlake team which in July won the U.S. Club Championships in San Diego.
All matches lived up to expectations that they will end with narrow results. The most convincing win of the quarterfinals was the one accomplished by Mater Dei water polo players who overpowered Loyola (8:6). Newport Harbor prevailed over Santa Margarita (6:5), while Oaks Christian held off Huntington Beach (11:10). Harvard-Westlake edged out the reigning champions Lutheran/Orange (9:8) with goalkeeper Sam Krutonog emerging as the hero of the game.
Oaks Christian water polo players were also brilliant in the semifinal clash with Harvard-Westlake when they recorded an important narrow 8:7 win. Their next obstacle on the way to the title was Mater Dei team which easily outshot Newport Harbor (9:3) in the other semifinal game.
MATER DEI BEAT OAKS CHRISTIAN TO WIN TITLE
Division 1 finalists Mater Dei and Oaks Christian qualified for the first CIF-SS regional championships which start next week. Lutheran/Orange failed to defend the title and finished 5th after winning the match against Loyola water polo team (13:7).
Oaks Christian entered the finals as an underdog against Mater Dei water polo squad. Last year’s Division 3 champions were not able to confront Mater Dei which put on their brilliant performance. Thanks to their experience and impeccable defense, the Monarchs triumphed in the final game.
In the first half, Jackson Seybold, Warren Loth, Kaden Kaneko each scored a goal, while Cooper Hadda added a pair. With the halftime result being 8:3, it was obvious who will be the champion. After the break, Cameron Reagan netted two and Ian Minsterman found the net once to increase their team’s lead. Sealing the victory was an easy job for such an experienced team like Mater Dei. They were led by Seybold who scored 4 goals. Billy Motherway recorded 13 saves. Coached by Chris Segesman, Mater Dei won the section championship for the 7th time, and this is their 5th title in Division 1.
Foothill water polo players won the Division 2 title after beating Corona del Mar (10:7) in a thrilling match. Top-seeded Foothill was leading during the entire game and eventually won their third Division 2 title in four years.
Two more games finished with the same result – Redondo triumphed over Walnut in Division 4 finals, while Temescal Canyon overpowered Don Lugo and became the Division 5 champion.
Division 3 title went to La Serna water polo squad which defeated Dost Pueblos (9:7). In spite of the fact that they went ahead 4:0 at the beginning, La Serna players later struggled when the opponent stroke back and tied the result (6:6). The winner was determined in the final period when the Lancers scored two consecutive goals preventing Dos Pueblos from making any surprises.
Division 6 finals saw Pacifica water polo squad record a narrow 9:8 victory against Buena Park to win their first CIF title. Valley View held off El Rancho (14:13) in a close battle for the Division 7 title.
1st Round (November 2, 2017)
Mater Dei 8:6 Loyola
Newport Harbor 6:5 Santa Margarita
Oaks Christian 11:10 Huntington Beach
Harvard-Westlake 9:8 Lutheran/Orange
Places 5-8 (November 7, 2017)
Loyola 12:11 Santa Margarita
Huntington Beach 12:17 Lutheran/Orange
Semifinals (November 8, 2017)
Mater Dei 9:3 Newport Harbor
Oaks Christian 8:7 Harvard-Westlake
7th/8th Place (November 9, 2017)
Santa Margarita 10:8 Huntington Beach
5th/6th Place (November 9, 2017)
Loyola 7:13 Lutheran/Orange
3rd/4th Place (November 10, 2017)
Newport Harbor 6:4 Harvard-Westlake
Final (November 11, 2017)
Mater Dei 13:9 Oaks Christian
Division 2 Final
Foothill 10:7 Corona del Mar
Division 3 Final
La Serna 9:7 Dos Pueblos
Division 4 Final
Redondo 10:7 Walnut
Division 5 Final
Temescal Canyon 10:7 Don Lugo
Division 6 Final
Pacifica 9:8 Buena Park
Division 7 Final
Valley View 14:13 El Rancho