It goes without saying that the best boys water polo teams are located in Southern California. That was evident at the 10th annual North-South Water Polo Challenge that saw Mater Dei edge defending champion Harvard-Westlake, 11-10, in the championship match on Saturday at Sacred Heart Prep.
For Mater Dei (20-1), which ended Harvard-Westlake's 50-match win streak this month, it was its second title in this event in three years -- last winning in 2013. Luke Wyatt and Sean Duncan each scored twice for Mater Dei, with Wyatt getting the game-winner. Stanford recruit and U.S. Men's Senior National Team member Ben Hallock had two goals for Harvard-Westlake (17-2).
For further evidence of SoCal's dominance, Huntington Beach finished third and Loyola (Los Angeles) took fifth.
The top Northern California squad in the elite 16-team tournament was Sacred Heart Prep, which finished fourth following a 15-6 loss to Huntington Beach. The Gators (14-5) also lost in the semifinals to Mater Dei, 16-5.