After appearing to sleep their way through the first six league contests, losing only to last place Saddleback, the boys basketball squad seem to recommit themselves to play classic Bret Fleming style defense and blow past their two key conference rivals to clinch their fifth consecutive league crown.
Breakers spoiled Estancia’s title aspirations with a 47-31 win on Wednesday, Feb. 2 at Dugger Gym. Estancia tried to keep pace with Laguna but Tyler Kessler hit two three-point shots early in the second period and the Eagles could not claw their way any closer. Jake Dalke led the team with 11 points, Tyler Kesler had eight, Cole Kesler seven, Jack Pillsbury seven, Derek Reigel six, Paul McCabe five and Tyler Masukawa three. Breakers controlled the game’s tempo and the Laguna defense frustrated Estancia all evening. Laguna trails the all-time series with Estancia 32-22 but are 13-5 with the Eagles the last 10 years.
On Friday, Dalke scored 21 points to lead Laguna to a 56-40 win over Costa Mesa, the 13th straight series victory over the Mustangs. Mesa tied to keep pace with Laguna but Brandon Lewis hit two three point shots in the second period while the Mustangs could not contain Dalke who scored eight and broke the game open. It was all-Laguna in the second half as the Breakers controlled the game and completely out hustled Costa Mesa.
League Standings as of Monday: Laguna 7-1, 14-9; Estancia 5-3, 14-11; Costa Mesa 4-4, 10-14; Calvary 4-4, 6-16; Godinez 3-5, 13-11; Saddleback 1-7, 8-14.
Breakers entered the final week of regular season play with a two game lead over second place Estancia with two remaining games. Breakers closed out with Godinez and Saddleback while the Eagles face Saddleback and Costa Mesa. Breakers hold the tie breaker if they were to drop their remaining games and the Eagles were to sweep the final two.
CIF pairings will be released this Sunday and Laguna will host the opening game for Division IVA on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 7 p.m. at Dugger Gym. Breakers lost their opening game last season to J Serra in overtime.
Feb 7 CIF Poll: 1- Oaks Christian, 2 – Maranatha, 3 – Paraclete, 4 – Morningside, J Serra, (Tie), 6 – Whittier Christian, Ontario Christian, Buckley (Tie), 9 – Laguna Beach, 10 – Santa Paula, 11- Burroughs/Ridgecrest, 12 – La Puente, 13 – Desert Hot Springs, 14 – La Salle, 15 – Morro Bay, 16 – Big Bear
For more history on Laguna basketball – check out the updated record book under “Schools and Sports” on the Indy web site.