No. 1 PV Outlasts Relentless Newbury 7-6

No. 1 seed Palos Verdes became the latest team to feel the burn from Newbury Park’s relentless defense and grind-it-out offense. The Sea Kings (15-5) escaped with a 7-6 victory Thursday to advance to Saturday’s semifinals, but not before they saw the No. 9 Panthers (14-5) erase a three-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the game 6-6.

“Brutal game,” Palos Verdes coach Jimmy Borell said via text message. “My starting six had a combined 15 turnovers on offense.”

Credit the Newbury defense for that. The Panthers have allowed opponents to score in double figures only three times this season. First-year coach Grant Kaleikau implemented strategies at both ends that called for discipline and intelligence as much as toughness and athleticism, and the Panthers players bought in. After an opening loss to Oak Park in March, Newbury has lost only to Westlake, Thousand Oaks and Palos Verdes — three of the four L.A. semifinalists.

Thursday, as he usually is, Newbury defender Chucky Smith (pictured, right) was a primary disruptor for the Panthers. He was credited with eight forced turnovers and four ground balls. Those possessions were crucial against PV, which dominated the faceoff dot with Zack Lozzi (13 of 14).

In the end, though, Palos Verdes had just enough to overcome the Newbury rally. Stanton Gilbertson (pictured, left) led the Sea Kings with four goals and two assists, and goalie David McCann made 13 saves.

Senior Preston Hill scored three goals for NP, two in the first half and the tying goal in the fourth quarter. Andrew Noble, Logan Bertram and Chasen Colter also scored for the Panthers.

Complete playoff bracket

Pre-First-Round Games
El Segundo 17, Brentwood 12
West Ranch 13, Sierra Canyon 12
Palisades 12, Culver City 11, 2 OT

First-Round Games
(1) Palos Verdes 18, (16) West Ranch 3
(9) Newbury Park 9, (8) Oak Park 5

(5) Westlake 14, (12) Redondo Union 4
(4) Harvard Westlake 12, (13) Chaminade 4

(3) Peninsula 13, (14) El Segundo 1
(6) Thousand Oaks 10, (11) Mira Costa 9

(7) Crespi 9, 10 Agoura (5)
(2) Loyola 19, (15) Palisades 4

Quarterfinals
(7) Crespi 9, (2) Loyola 8, OT
(6) Thousand Oaks 12, (3) Peninsula 11
(5) Westlake 16, (4) Harvard Westlake 11
(1) Palos Verdes 7, (9) Newbury Park 6

Semifinals – Saturday
(5) Westlake (16-1) at (1) Palos Verdes (15-5), 3:30 p.m.
(7) Crespi (12-6) at (6) Thousand Oaks (13-4), 7:30 p.m.