A particular visitor confirmed up on the Newport Harbor Excessive pool deck earlier than the match.

Marcia Barnett, the spouse of the late legendary Sailors coach Invoice Barnett, got here to see the Sailors tackle Studio Metropolis Harvard-Westlake on Wednesday night time within the semifinals of the CIF Southern Part Open Division playoffs.

A video digital camera sat on a desk in entrance of her. Newport Harbor coach Ross Sinclair, grinning, shortly picked it up.

“I’m not going to make you movie,” Sinclair mentioned.

Video of the ultimate moments was in excessive demand after the match, following a thriller that Invoice Barnett himself certainly would have appreciated.

Newport Harbor sophomore Connor Ohl scored a six-on-five aim on the buzzer to assist the No. 2-seeded Sailors beat No. 3 Harvard-Westlake 12-11 and advance to Saturday’s Open Division title match.

Newport Harbor (26-3) will go for a “three-peat” within the Open Division because it performs top-seeded JSerra (26-0) for the title at 6 p.m. Saturday at Mt. San Antonio Faculty. It’s a rematch of final yr’s closing that the Sailors gained 10-9.

JSerra beat Corona del Mar 14-6 within the different semifinal match Wednesday night time.

That is the fifth straight CIF finals look within the prime division for the proud Sailors, not counting a COVID yr in 2020-21 when playoffs didn’t happen.

Newport Harbor goalkeeper Luke Harris, shown making a save against CdM earlier this year.

Newport Harbor goalkeeper Luke Harris, proven making a save towards CdM earlier this yr, had a key block within the closing minute for the Sailors on Wednesday night time.

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“It’s a testomony to everybody committing to this program right here, from a training standpoint to a participant standpoint to a neighborhood standpoint, faculty administration standpoint,” Sinclair mentioned. “Clearly, Barnett constructed it, and it’s our job to maintain it standing.”

Ohl’s fourth aim of the match got here after junior goalkeeper Luke Harris made a fingertip save on Harvard-Westlake heart Otto Stothart on the opposite finish, preserving the tie. Sinclair known as timeout with 31 seconds left.

Within the sequence, Sailors senior heart Peter Castillo drew an exclusion to arrange the facility play. Sophomore left-hander Mason Netzer held the ball on the proper within the closing seconds — each Sinclair and Ohl mentioned they thought that Netzer would shoot — however he discovered Ohl for a closing shot simply on the buzzer.

“It’s all a blur now,” Ohl mentioned. “Mason simply discovered the additional cross and we have been in a position to convert on that.”

Ohl, a 6-foot-5 switch from Brunswick Faculty in Connecticut, additionally led the Sailors with 5 steals. On the identical day his older brother Ryan Ohl signed with Stanford males’s water polo again in Brunswick, Connor additionally made loads of waves on the West Coast along with his buzzer-beater.

“I got here out right here and I simply felt like I’ve one thing to show to everyone,” Ohl mentioned. “Everyone again house, everyone out right here, I simply owe a debt, particularly to my mother and father.”

Ohl mentioned his mother Diane moved with him to California, whereas his dad Chris stayed along with his older brother on the East Coast.

Castillo had a mammoth efficiency at heart for the Sailors, with 5 targets scored and 9 exclusions drawn, together with a penalty shot drawn. Owen Tift chipped in a aim and three assists, and Netzer additionally had a aim and an help. Quinn Bartlett additionally scored for the Sailors, who received an help from Kai Kaneko and three steals from Jack Wright.

Senior Gavin Appeldorn offered his regular stellar heart protection.

“He’s an insane heart defender,” Sinclair mentioned. “Their facilities are actually good, and he performed nearly the entire sport.”

Peter Castillo (4) of Newport Harbor, shown competing against CdM last season.

Peter Castillo (4) of Newport Harbor, proven competing towards CdM final season, led the Sailors with 5 targets within the Open Division semifinals Wednesday.

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Harvard-Westlake (19-8) led by as many as three targets within the second quarter. The Wolverines took an 11-10 lead with 3:58 left within the sport on a penalty shot aim from Alexander Heenan.

The Sailors instantly answered when Castillo drew his personal penalty shot and scored it.

Harvard commit Dean Strauser paced Harvard-Westlake with 4 targets, nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient to cease Newport Harbor from beating the Wolverines for the fourth time in 5 makes an attempt this season.

Now, the Sailors will play for his or her third straight Open Division title on Saturday.

“It’s the place we wish to be,” mentioned Castillo, who wouldn’t thoughts one other CIF championship ring earlier than he heads off to UCLA. “It’s precisely the place we wish to be.”

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