Step one is done.
Facing an Estancia team Wednesday that figured to be a big challenge to them in the race for the 2011 Orange Coast League boys' basketball championship, Laguna Beach picked up a key road win by outlasting the host Eagles in overtime, 57-52, in the league opener for both teams.
Laguna, which reached the .500 mark (8-8) for the season, came back late in the game to force overtime. Guard Jack Pillsbury hit two critical three-points shots, one each toward the end of regulation and in overtime.
The Breakers also overcame losing two starters, senior forward Tyler Kesler and junior guard Tyler Masukawa, to foul trouble, to successfully begin defense of their four-year reign as league champs.
Kesler fouled out early in the fourth quarter and finished with six points. Masukawa exited with 10 points.
"One thing good to come out of this is that, league-wise, it was an important win to get," Laguna Coach Bret Fleming said. "I also thought it was a good effort by the kids, who were really pumped up for the game. On the flip side, we were kind of careless out there and had a lot of turnovers. But we still were able to get the win."