By Steve Riches, Special to the Independent
Laguna’s 12 and under girls water polo team returned home with a bronze medal as a result of Winterfest, three days of matches at the San Clemente High School pool featuring some of the
strongest teams from throughout the state.
Over the past two seasons, Laguna’s 12 and under girls team has been first and second in the entire country, and this year’s squad features an influx of younger players, combined with a few veterans from last year’s dominant team.
The team was challenged in the opening game of the tournament when the girls were narrowly defeated 7-6 in overtime by 680 Drivers team from the San Francisco Bay area. Saturday afternoon’s game saw the girls easily defeat the CHAWP team from Chino Hills 12-2. The team was up early
Sunday morning for a 7 a.m. game against the UCI Anteaters club team, rolling to a 10-4 victory.
In their final game of the weekend, the girls faced off against the UC Davis club team. Laguna’s squad came out thundering with a 7-0 lead after the first quarter, then cruised home to a final 9-4 victory over Davis.
“We are building a very strong roster of girls and for this tournament,” said club administrator Chad Beeler. “It was especially nice to see the younger fifth graders learning skills from the more experienced sixth graders.”
Girls Take to NJB Championship Court
The Laguna Beach division 2 girls basketball team (fifth and sixth graders) closed out an undefeated season with an easy 49-14 win over San Clemente last Saturday. The game was never in doubt, as the girls jumped off to a big lead and coasted to the win.
Sophia Lucas continued her great play at both ends of the floor, while Isabel Mansour scored a couple of key baskets to put the game out of reach. The girls ended their season at 10-0.
“This is really a great group of girls,” said coach Eric Lucas. “They all work very hard on defense and are always looking for the open person on offense. They are easy to coach.”
The girls are now off to the Championship Tournament, where they will play first-place teams from other cities over the next two weekends.
Hoop Players to Play in Tournament
The Lakers, a youth team of second and third graders, won first place in their league and the championship tournament recently. As a result of their 9-1 season, four players were sent to an all-stars team.