Boys Basketball (8-1, 15-10)
Laguna Beach High School’s boys’ basketball team captured their sixth straight league title with a 52-44 victory over Godinez (16-9, 5-4) on Tuesday at Dugger Gym. Derek Reigel hit some key shots and free throws down the stretch in the final period to hold off the Grizzlies’ valiant comeback attempt. The visitors played Laguna tough in the first half leading most of the way until the Breakers stepped up their defensive play to eek-out a slim 21-20 halftime lead. Godinez took a brief 22-21 advantage in the first minute of the third period before Laguna took back the lead for the last time in the contest.
Cole Kesler led all scorers with 12 points while Reigel and Brandon Lewis chipped in nine points apiece. Jack Pillsbury added seven timely points among the eight players that scored. Lewis brought his three-point basket total for the season to 78, just two shy of the record 80 shot by Travis Hanour (Arizona/San Diego State) in 2000.
Last week the Breakers suffered their first league defeat of the season as Estancia defeated Laguna 41-40 at the Eagle Gym as Laguna failed to score on a lay-up at the buzzer. Poor shooting by Laguna and countless missed opportunities by the Breakers kept the contest close. Lewis hit for four, three-point shots and led all scorers with 14 while Cole Kesler added eight. The Eagles remain the only league team to hold a series advantage over Laguna and now lead 33-23 in all-time meetings.
On Friday, the Breakers blew past second place Costa Mesa 60-41 as Kesler’s 25 points led the way at the Mesa Gym. Breakers held a 29-25 advantage at the intermission then opened the third quarter with an 11-0 run to ice the contest. The 15th straight victory over the Mustangs extended the series advantage for the Breakers to 47-21. The contest also marked Bret Fleming’s 250th career victory as Laguna’s head coach. Fleming is in his 17th season.
Breakers have won all six Orange Coast League titles since the league was formed and now holds a 46-7 all-time OC league record entering this past Thursday’s contest with Saddleback (1-8, 8-15). Laguna has also won a total of 15 conference titles in 78 seasons of boys’ basketball.
CIF Pairings will be released Sunday, Feb. 12, and posted on the Southern Section website (www.cifss.org) Breakers are in Division 4AA of 12 divisions partly based on enrollment. Breakers will host either on Wednesday or Friday, depending on the number of division teams that qualify.
Laguna has qualified for the 28th time since 1952 and has made four appearances in the section finals winning two titles. Overall, the Breakers have a 32-24 won-loss record in section playoff games.