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PHOTO, TEXT BY DAN ALBANO, OCVARSITY.COM/SCNG
Senior Cole Brosnan, left, and his brother, Ryan, helped Newport Harbor defeat El Toro, 13-8, in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 boys water polo playoffs Wednesday night.

Roundup: Newport Harbor knocks out El Toro with sharp-shooting

STAFF WRITER

Newport Harbor’s surging boys water polo team unveiled a new wrinkle to its arsenal Wednesday night in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs at El Toro.

The squad known for its press and production at 2 meters with Jackson Westerman, showcased perimeter shooting in a 13-8 victory that moved the Sailors into an intriguing quarterfinal Saturday.

Senior attacker Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt overcame two first-period exclusions to score two of his team-high four goals from the perimeter. Fellow attacker Ryan Brosnan came off the bench to add three goals from the outside, matching his season-high.

Newport Harbor (20-8), the Sunset League runner-up to Huntington Beach, also received perimeter strikes from Brosnan’s brother, Cole and Nic Rimlinger.

“Our shooting was very, very good,” said Newport Harbor second-year coach Ross Sinclair, who earned his first playoff victory at his alma mater. “Ryan was one of those guys who really stepped up.”

Related: Albano's playoff predictions

Inside O.C. Water Polo Podcast

Newport Harbor’s sharp-shooting included strikes by Rimlinger and Cole Brosnan in the first three minutes. Cole Brosnan, a senior lefty, also had a counterattack that gave the Sailors a 3-0 lead.

El Toro (19-9) called a timeout and regained its footing but Newport Harbor opened a 6-3 lead at halftime as Ryan Brosnan skipped a perimeter shot in off the bottom of the crossbar.

Turnbow-Lindenstadt and Ryan Brosnan, a junior, then scored the first two goals of the third period on outside shots, which gave plenty of support for Newport Harbor goalie Max Sandberg (11 saves).

Newport Harbor will play host to top-seeded Loyola of Los Angeles, another peaking squad, on Saturday. The Cubs, who beat Los Osos in the first round, jumped to No. 1 to sixth in the final week of the season.

“We’re playing our best water polo right now,” Cole Brosnan said, “so we’re really confident.”

Chad Nelson netted four goals and Jack Leighton added three for El Toro, which won its first South Coast League title since 2011.

“I can’t say enough about the senior class we had,” El Toro coach Justin Johnson said. “Nerves were a little bit of an issue with us (against Newport Harbor).”

In other Division 1 games:

Foothill 10, Dana Hills 6: Joe Molina scored five goals to lead the host Knights (23-5), who play No. 2 seed Harvard-Westlake of Studio City on Saturday. In a duel of last season's Division 2 finalists, Foothill led, 7-5, going into the fourth. Jack McLaughlin scored three goals for Dana Hills. The Wolverines defeated Righetti, 12-5, in the first round.

Corona del Mar 14, Mira Costa 7: Tamir Avital and Mitchell Cooper each scored four goals to help the host Sea Kings reach Saturday's quarterfinals against Orange Lutheran. CdM led, 11-3, after three periods.

Orange Lutheran 14, San Marcos 9: Ash Molthen had three goals and three assists and Jake Simmons added 13 saves to lead the host Lancers at Santiago Canyon College. OLu defeated San Marcos, 10-9, earlier in the season.

Huntington Beach 19, Damien 7: Defender Ryan Hurst scored five goals and Curtis Jarvis, Quinten Osborne and Ethan Wojciechowski each added four apiece to lead the host Oilers, who play at Mater Dei in the quarterfinals Saturday.

Mater Dei 15, Santa Barbara 10: The Monarchs led, 15-6, after the three periods en route to the victory. Wyatt Benson, Christian Hockenbury and Jackson Seybold each netted four goals for the Monarchs.

In Division 2 first round games:

Santa Margarita 14, El Segundo 7: Brock Petersen had four goals and two assists to help lead the visiting Eagles (23-7), who advanced to play Palos Verdes in the quarterfinals Saturday.

Palos Verdes 15, Villa Park 12: Bret Leiter and Bradley Wilson each scored five goals but the visiting Spartans fell to the Sea Kings, who received eight goals from David Feingold.

Murrieta Valley 9, Beckman 8: The host Nighthawks took a 9-5 lead into the fourth period and then held off the Patriots, stopping an extra-man chance with about 40 seconds left. Casey Lynton scored three goals for Murrieta Valley, which takes on Long Beach Wilson in the quarterfinals Saturday.

The winner of the Murrieta Valley-Wilson match takes on the winner of the Laguna Beach-Hoover game.

In a Division 3 first round game:

Troy 16, Vista Murrieta 8: Tanner Henkhaus and Andrew Kim each scored four goals at Fullerton College to pace the Warriors, who play No. 2 seed Redlands East Valley in the quarterfinals Saturday. REV defeated Costa Mesa, 6-2, in another first-round game. Brian Wilder added 10 saves for the Freeway League champion.

In a Division 7 first round game:

Katella 10, Hillcrest 6: Gio Marin scored three goals and Diego Munoz made 11 saves to lead the top-seeded Knights (15-2).

Contact the writer: dalbano@scng.com


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