Laguna Sports Update: Week of Feb. 10

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By Frank Aronoff | LB Indy

Jeremy Kanter with his Sunset Conference medal. Kanter finished second in the 182 pound weight class at the Feb. 4 tourney, the highest finish ever for a Laguna wrestler. Photo courtesy of Laguna Beach Wrestling

BOYS BASKETBALL (2-4 3rd, 8-20)

Once again, Laguna proved spoiler to Huntington Beach as the team defeated the Oilers at their gym, 46-44, on Feb. 2 for the eighth consecutive series win over “Surf City.” The Breakers led early but lost the advantage late in the second period before storming back from a 34-29 deficit to lead 35-34 entering the final period. Dylan McEachern led for Laguna with 16 points, followed by Ben Neufield with 10. Dylan also had 10 rebounds and three assists in his effort.

The Breakers came very close to making the playoffs coming down to two narrow losses to Corona del Mar (43-41, 55-51. In both contests, Laguna held the lead until the final minutes.

Season leaders – Full Season 28 games:

Three-pointers: 27 – Ryan Cheng and Jack Halvorson

Points: 351 – Jack Halvorson, 264 – Dylan McEachern, 211 – Ashton Azadian, 189 – Cheng

(Halvorson and McEachern will return next season)

Other Season Leaders (unofficial)

Rebounds: 113 – Sam Burchi

Assists: 85 – Jack Halvorson

Steals: 25 – Ben Neufield & Sam Burchi

Blocked Shots: 24 – Sam Burchi

GIRLS BASKETBALL (2-4 3rd, 19-9) 

The Breakers opened their Division 4-A CIF run this past Thursday on the road at Dominguez High School (16-12) in Compton. The Don’s were the Mid-Cities League co-champions with Gahr in a 6-team league that includes Norwalk, Bellflower, and La Mirada and based on the computer ratings, Laguna entered as the favorite. 

Should the Breakers prevail – the second round would be Feb. 11, against either Quartz Hill or at home versus Valley Christian/Santa Maria. The quarterfinals are slated for Feb. 15.

Last week, the regular season concluded with a 43-35 home loss to league champion Edison.

BOYS SOCCER (1-5-0 4th Place, 6-11-1)

Laguna lost another overtime heartbreaker to conclude their season as Fountain Valley scored a sudden death goal to take the final league contest 2-1. Max Gardner scored the Laguna point in the second period.

Final 18-match scoring leaders: six goals – Jaxson Hutcheon and Julian Riechel, 4 Goals – Chase Cuevas and Jackson Rodriguez.

GIRLS SOCCER (2-2-2 Third Place, 5-10-4)

Laguna’s playoff dreams and season ended with a 2-1 overtime loss to Fountain Valley on Feb. 1 at the Baron’s field. Had the contest ended in a tie, Breakers and Corona del Mar would have had a playoff game to determine a post-season berth.

GIRLS WATER POLO (4-2 2nd Place, 18-8)

Laguna lost 9-3 to Los Alamitos in a “home game” at the winner’s pool on Feb. 2. Credit Los Alamitos for shutting down the Laguna attack that went a dismal 3 for 30 in shooting with Cleo Washer, Emerson Hensley and Kara Carver the only scoring for the Breakers. The leading season scorer for Laguna, Ava Knepper did not play.

Laguna is seeded #4 and opened their CIF run this past Thursday “hosting” #5 San Marcos (12-6) at Sage Hill.

The undersized Laguna Community Pool was already obsolete when it opened 29 years ago and has not hosted a true home Girls Southern Section playoff contest since a double overtime loss to Newport in 2013.

The Breakers defeated the Royals on Jan. 28 without Knepper, lost 13-12 at Newport Harbor on Dec. 30 and defeated them 10-9 at Santa Barbara High School on Dec. 2.

Should the Breakers prevail, the semifinals will be on Feb. 15 at Irvine’s Woollett Center against either Foothill or Corona del Mar. The finals will be at Woollett on Feb. 18.

WRESTLING

Jeremy Kanter 2nd at League Meet – Qualifies for CIF

Laguna senior Jeremy Kanter finished runner-up in the 182 LB weight class at the Sunset Conference 8-team championship held on Feb. 4 at Los Alamitos. The senior finished fourth last year, and the second-place mark this season is the highest finish ever for a Laguna wrestler. Kanter is having a stellar athletic season this year and was an All-CIF selection as a linebacker for football this past fall.

The breakers had six wrestlers finish fifth, which qualified as an alternate for the SSCIF meet should any of the four actual qualifiers in each weight class drop from this weekend’s finals. CIF is organized into six divisions, with the Sunset Conference participating in the Inland Division of eight leagues. The top five wrestlers will advance to the Master’s Meet the following weekend to determine the state meet qualifiers. The Inland Division event will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10 and 11 at Fountain Valley High School.

Spring Sports On The Horizon

BASEBALL

Jairo Ochoa returns to guide the Breakers this season, shedding the “acting” on his head coach title. The Breakers went 13-13 last season, third in the Sunset Wave League and are expected to challenge for the Wave League this season. Laguna is Pre-Season #8 in the D-4 SSCIF Poll and will open its 85th season this Saturday, Feb. 11, at Long Beach Poly. Next week, they will participate in the Newport Elks Tournament hosting Mission Viejo on Feb. 14 at Skipper Carrillo Field.

BOYS GOLF

Dual match play opens on March 1 with Estancia at Ben’ Browns.

GIRLS LACROSSE – Laguna returns to varsity play for the first time since 2019. The Boys program will only have a limited JV season.

SAND VOLLEYBALL  – The tenth season opens on Feb. 28 with Fountain Valley. Breakers are 84-21 since the program started in 2014.

SOFTBALL – Play begins on March 2 at Bolsa Grande. 

BOYS TENNIS – First match is Tuesday at Tesoro High School.

TRACK & FIELD – The season starts in March. The annual Laguna Trophy meet is Saturday, March 18.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL – Play begins with the Tesoro tournament Feb. 24-25.

Looking for the 2022-23 High School schedules and scores? Check Laguna Beach High School on the Max Preps website.

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