With Laguna struggling to find an offensive flow, Valencia was
able to build a 23-point lead in the second half before the Breakers
roared back, a rally that saw them trim their deficit to just three
points with four minutes remaining.
"This game was very frustrating in the fact that we did not come
out with the win, but it was a very intense game that our young team
competed in and will learn from," Laguna coach Rob Cullinan said.
"This [game] was a good tune-up for a tough Pacific Coast League
schedule that's ahead of us. We will build on this."
Laguna, which plays at El Modena on Tuesday before opening Pacific
Coast League play with a Jan. 15 home game against rival Corona del
Mar, was led by Kyle Hogan and Alex Norfleet.
Hogan had a double-double with 26 points and 16 rebounds, and Norfleet continued his hot streak from three-point range by hitting a
trio of shots from the arc in the fourth-quarter comeback.
The Breakers were without the services of two key players, senior
point guard Peter Renault and sophomore Ivan Kovacevic.
Freshman Jeff Clark played the entire game at point guard Monday.
Laguna began play at the Mayor's Cup with an 86-72 first-round
loss to Santa Ana.
The close contest was decided in the third quarter, in which the
Saints broke away from a three point halftime lead to outscore
The Breakers had a hot-hand from three-point range, however,
hitting nine overall. Hogan -- who led all scorers with 33 points --
led the way with four, three-point baskets, Renault and Norfleet each
connected on two, and Clark hit one.
Laguna scored two tournament victories, beating Los Amigos, 68-51,
and Eastside of Washington state, 81-79.
Spencer Willhoit and Hogan each scored 15 points, and Austin Sands
had 12 against Los Amigos.
In edging Eastside, Laguna played the game's final minute with
just four players -- a senior, two sophomores and a freshman, and
finished the contest with only three eligible players on the court.
Eastside had whittled away a 17-point deficit by outscoring
Laguna, 31-16, in the final frame.
Hogan scored 27 points, Norfleet hit for 20 more, Willhoit scored
11 and Sands finished with 10.
In girls' water polo, Laguna captured ninth-place at the Newport
Harbor-Corona del Mar Holiday Cup by routing Capistrano Valley, 13-3.
Sophomores Katherine Gordon and Allison Doud each scored three
goals and Lina Moore had seven saves for Laguna, which improved to
In earlier consolation play, Laguna drilled Santa Ynez, 15-3. The
scoring onslaught consisted of an eight-goal game by senior standout
Annie Preble, the three goals by Gordon and goals by Doud, Elizabeth
Roolidge, Kari Herdman and Jenny Lenker.