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Laguna can't hold lead

Breakers' fall behind as Ocean View bottles up leading scorer Writer.

January 06, 2011|By Mike Sciacca, michael.sciacca@latimes.com

HUNTINGTON BEACH — During a quick burst at the outset of the second half of their nonleague girls' basketball game Thursday at Ocean View, it appeared that the Laguna Beach Breakers were headed toward an easy victory.

A 90-second run turned a close game into an 11-point advantage for the Breakers who were all but taking command at that point. But after leading, 31-20, early in the third quarter, it went all downhill for Laguna which went on to suffer a 50-38 defeat.

The Breakers couldn't sustain that lead, nor their momentum, in the final 14:30 of the game. Ocean View, meanwhile, turned things around, ended and surpassed Laguna's 11-0 run with a 17-0 blitz of its own that extended into the fourth quarter, to win going away.

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Laguna, which led, 21-18 at the half before building the lead to 11, trailed, 32-31, entering the fourth quarter.

The Breakers would get no closer from there.

"I think they just took us out of what we wanted to do, using a triangle-and-two to take our two best players out of the game," Laguna Coach Jon Hendrickson said. "We didn't make adjustments to that, and that's a coaching error on my part. Things were looking pretty good there for awhile but I didn't make the proper adjustments."

Ocean View Coach Kim Morris knew that senior guard Emily Writer and Sam Garner, a senior center, were Laguna's top two scorers and team leaders. Writer came into the game averaging 23 points and Garner was scoring nearly 10 a game and averaging close to 14 rebounds.

"I told our girls if they could reduce that 23 (points) to 12, we'd have a great chance of winning," Morris said. "I thought we really did a nice job of limiting their big players."

The Seahawks held Writer to a season-low six points. Garner did manage to net 12 points.

"It's a tough way to lose," Hendrickson said. "After they made their run at us, we just lost focus and seemed to give up."

Laguna went on its 11-0 run in the first 1:30 of the second half to open up its biggest lead (31-20). But Ocean View began to chip away at that lead and then used a sledge hammer to obliterate the deficit. Consecutive baskets by Francis Oda, one of two seniors on the Ocean View roster, brought the Seahawks to within 31-28 late in the quarter. They took the lead for the first time since early in the second quarter, and for good, when Mari Shigemasa hit two free throws with 24 seconds to go in the quarter.

The Seahawks took a 32-31 lead into the fourth quarter.

Shigemasa added to the lead in the first minute of the fourth quarter when she hit two free throws after creating a turnover. Moments later, Garner was called for an illegal screen and Kelli Berry, the other senior on the Ocean View roster, launched a three-point shot to push the lead to 37-31.

Ocean View's 17-point run ended at the 5:25 mark of the quarter when Lola Cowie hit a short-range jumper to pull the Breakers to within 37-33.

They wold get no closer the rest of the way.

Cowie finished with eight points.

Kelli Berry, whose big shots in the second half sparked the Seahawks' comeback, led all scorers with 17 points. Oda added 10 points.

Laguna will host Vaughn of the San Fernando Valley in a 6 p.m. nonleague game Saturday. The Breakers begin their Orange Coast League schedule at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Estancia.

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