Breakers regain No. 1 seed

Laguna avenges earlier one-goal loss to Damien in tourney action and will likely enter postseason as top seed in Division 3.

November 04, 2010|By Mike Sciacca,

Laguna Beach shut out visiting Aliso Niguel in the opening quarter of Wednesday's nonleague boys' water polo match and went on to down the Wolverines, 16-4.

The game pitted two teams — No. 1 Laguna and No. 7 Aliso Niguel — ranked in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 poll.

The Breakers (22-6) led, 3-0, after the first quarter and extended their lead to 9-3 at the half.

Spencer Dodson and Tyler Mancusso both scored four goals to pace a Laguna offense that included three goals from Nolan McConnell, two by Jack Clark and one each from Samer Alkateb, Nicky Brunner and Tommy Renner. McConnell also had a team-high three assists and six steals and Erik Henrickson registered eight saves.


Laguna concluded play last week at the Hank Vallenkamp No. 2 Tournament, hosted by Servite, winning its final three games to claim the championship. The Breakers downed Servite (9-8) in a quarterfinal game Oct. 29 and both Esperanza (15-8) in the semifinals and Damien (9-7) in the final last Saturday.

Laguna started tournament play Oct. 25 with wins against La Salle (19-1) and Montebello (17-11).

Servite is ranked No. 10 in Division 1, Esperanza is fifth in Division 2, Montebello is seventh in Division 2 and La Salle received votes in Division 5.

Laguna also got even with Damien, which on Oct. 22 had scored a 16-15 nonleague victory in its home pool to supplant the Breakers at No. 1 in Division 3.

The win by Laguna on Saturday moved the Breakers back into the division's top spot and dropped Damien to second.

Laguna wraps up its regular season at 4 p.m. today with a nonleague game at Mission Viejo.

"Mission is a tough, young team that should be a good challenge," Laguna Coach Ethan Damato said. "We know their coaches and players well and it should make for a friendly but competitive game.

"At this point, every game, every practice, we are trying to find things that we can do better, areas to improve upon heading into the playoffs. Right now, it's all about playing our best polo for the last three weeks of the season, and that's what we are trying to do every day."

On Sunday, the CIF Division 3 playoff pairings will be revealed. Orange Coast League champion Laguna is line for the division's top seed and will host a first-round game at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday.

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