Estancia led for almost the entire first three quarters, until the Breakers ran away with a 54-43 victory. In the fourth quarter, Laguna Beach matched its previous points total against the Eagles.
Twenty-two points is how much Laguna Beach scored in the final eight minutes, helping it force a two-way tie atop the league standings with Estancia.
Laguna Beach (9-13) and Estancia (15-10) head into their respective league finales next week with 5-2 records.
Both win, they share the title. If both lose, they split it.
If one loses, the other is the champ.
Estancia Coach Agustin Heredia didn’t want it to play out this way before the playoffs. Laguna Beach is at Godinez, while the Eagles are at rival Costa Mesa on Wednesday.
“I was hoping to take care of it tonight,” Heredia said of clinching the league title. “[The Mustangs are] definitely going to be gunning for us. It’s the Battle for the Bell. I think the city of Costa Mesa is coming out with [its] cameras, so it’s just an atmosphere that concerns me with this group of guys.”
The third-year coach began to fret when Estancia gave up the lead with four seconds left in the third quarter. The Breakers had never led until that point.
Adam Selevan capped an 8-0 run on a backdoor layup, which closed out the third with the Breakers ahead, 32-31. Guard Tyler Masukawa on the right found Selevan, Coach Bret Fleming’s only returning starter from last season’s undefeated league championship team.
The defensive lapse was the first of many down the stretch for Estancia, ranked No. 16 in the CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA coaches’ poll. Selevan took advantage. He came alive in the second half, recording all of his 17 points in the final 16 minutes.