Sports Update: Week of Dec. 9

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Cutline: #16 Merrick Vellmure in action. The junior scored two touchdowns against Granada Hills and will be a key part of next year’s receiving corps. Photo courtesy of Debbie Vellmure

FOOTBALL (11-4)

Breakers Lose So Cal Shootout 56-55 

Laguna’s State Title dreams will have to wait until next season as the Breakers could not contain the Stanley Brothers from Granada Hills (Darrel, a (Utah commit, and Dijon) plus their third back, Kanye Martin when the home team needed to catch their breath. Every time Laguna answered or looked like they could pull away, Granada Hills pulled off a big run to forge ahead. Eleven lead changes in the contest and 111 points scored – not a school record but just short of the 62-56 shootout with Calvary Chapel in 2013 when Nathan Lancaster set the Orange County game rushing record with 547 yards.

The exhausting 71-point first half really showed the resiliency of Laguna battling the LACIF D-1 Champions whose school enrollment is nearly five times Laguna’s size. Breakers appeared to have taken control of the contest in the second quarter, taking a 35-30 lead on a Jackson Kollock to Jackson Rodriguez 18-yard pass with just under five minutes remaining in the quarter. They held the Highlander on downs, but after moving to midfield on their possession, Laguna misfired on two pass plays giving the ball back to Granada Hills with little time remaining. The visitors scored on the last play of the half with a 67-yard run and then scored on the first scrimmage play of the second half with a 49-yard run. After that score, Laguna controlled the second-half tempo until Darrell Stanley answered the last Laguna score with an 80-yard kickoff return, the game’s final points with five minutes remaining.

Laguna’s last full possession went five plays before they were forced to punt. After holding Granada, Laguna had one last play, which ended up as the lone interception as time expired. Granada Hills never threw a pass but did fumble three times to stall their cause, with one ball ending up as a score when Myles Freeman ran it back 53-yards for points. Freeman’s run was the eighth fumble longest return in school history.

Talented receiver/tight end Ryner Swanson (a junior) did set a school record this season with 83 catches passing Luke Degner’s 75 set last season. Swanson is already third in all-time career catches for Laguna.

Breakers will return a slew of talent next season – Jackson Kollock, Nick Rogers, and Merrick Vellemure among those joining Swanson.

Individual Marks:

Rushing: Rogers 14-57, Kollock 8-32

Passing: Kollock 41-26-1 315 yards 5TD’s Team: 1-0-0 (spike)

Receiving: Swanson 8-97, Rodriguez 6-62, Mulkay 2-25, Vellmure 6-61, Rogers 4-70

WINTER SPORTS

BOYS BASKETBALL (3-8)

Laguna continued to slide, losing all their games at the Portola Tournament. After losing to La Habra 57-46 on Nov. 29, the Breakers lost to host Portola 70-46, Trabuco Hills 56-41 and Tesoro 66-47.

Laguna returns to action on Dec. 13 at Laguna Hills and will host Dana Hills on Dec. 14 at Dugger Gym.

GIRLS BASKETBALL (8-1)

Breakers were no match for Northwood, losing to the Timberwolves 73-28 at their gym on Dec. 5. Breakers were quickly able to defeat Legacy Prep 73-10 on Nov. 30, Loara 61-16 on Dec. 1 and recently held off Santa Ana 42-41. Laguna is home on Dec. 9 with Pomona and will return home on Dec. 15 with Trabuco Hills. Tipoff is 6 p.m.

GIRLS SOCCER (1-1-1)

Laguna got into the win column with a 1-0 victory over St Margaret’s at the Tartan’s field. Breakers have two matches on Saturday in the Best of the West tournament facing Costa Mesa and Temple Hills at the Costa Mesa stadium. Next home match is Monday, Dec. 19 with El Dorado.

BOYS SOCCER (0-2-0)

Laguna dropped a 3-2 contest to Laguna Hills on Dec. 2 at the Hawk’s field, and their scheduled game with Tarbut ’V Torah was cancelled. Breakers host University at home on Monday, Dec. 12.

GIRLS WATER POLO (2-0)

Laguna held off a very talented San Marcos team on Friday Dec. 2 at Santa Barbara High School, holding off the Royals 10-9 after taking an 8-4 lead into the final period. Charlotte Riches and Ava Knepper each scored three goals in the contest.

Laguna cleared their bench in an 18-2 victory over San Clemente on Dec. 6 in a rare home contest. Knepper had four goals, Riches, Emerson Hensley and Lauren Short each scored three.

OC #1 Breakers will meet #2 Orange Lutheran on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 3 p.m. at Corona del Mar’s pool in a “home match.” Admission is free.

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

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