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Corona del Mar surfaces at No. 3 in Division 1 poll
Corona del Mar boys water polo coach Barry O’Dea hoped the Sea Kings would climb to No. 3 in the Division 1 coaches’ poll after their strong finish at the Memorial Cup.
On Monday, Corona del Mar indeed surfaced at No. 3 but in an intriguing, three-way tie with Newport Harbor and Long Beach Wilson.
At the Memorial Cup on Saturday, the Sea Kings knocked off Newport Harbor, 11-6, and Long Beach Wilson, 11-10, to storm to the tournament title at Bellarmine Prep in San Jose.
At the time of Corona del Mar’s breakthrough, the Sea Kings (20-6) were sixth in Division 1 while Newport Harbor and Long Beach Wilson were third and fourth, respectively.
The rankings are critical this week as the regular season concludes and the playoff pairing are released Sunday at 9 a.m.
Division 1 contenders also are trying to avoid a No. 4 or 5 ranking so they aren’t placed on the same side of the playoff bracket with top-ranked Mater Dei (24-0). The two-time defending Division 1 champion Monarchs have won a Southern Section-record 72 consecutive matches.
“I hope we get the No. 3 (seed),” O’Dea said Monday night. “I think we earned it. … We did what we were supposed to do at the end of the (regular) season.”
But O’Dea said if Corona del Mar isn’t seed third, the Sea Kings will still be ready for the Division 1 playoffs.
“I hope we get it (the No. 3 seed) but we’re going to be good to go where ever we end up,” he said.
In a head-to-head comparison of season results between Corona del Mar, Newport Harbor and Long Beach Wilson, the Sailors are 2-1. Long Beach Wilson is 2-2 while Corona del Mar stands at 2-3.