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Mixed emotions for Laguna

Boys' basketball team has thrilling victory at the buzzer against Costa Mesa, only to follow with disappointing loss to winless Saddleback.

January 27, 2011|By Mike Sciacca, michael.sciacca@latimes.com
  • Laguna Beach players congratulate Jack Pillsbury after he hit a three-point shot in the final seconds to beat Costa Mesa, 37-36.
Laguna Beach players congratulate Jack Pillsbury after… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Playing on the edge finally caught up with the Laguna Beach boys' basketball team Wednesday night.

The Breakers, who flirted with defeat in their last two outings but managed to escape its pitfalls, fell at home to Saddleback. Just one win away from completing a perfect — well, in the win-loss column, anyway — first-half of play in the Orange Coast League, Laguna came out on the short end of a 42-39 score against a Roadrunners team that had been winless in league play.

Laguna ended the first half of its league slate with a 4-1 record, which ties them with Estancia, a winner Wednesday over rival Costa Mesa, for first place. The Breakers fell to 11-9 overall.

"This is kind of the culmination of us not playing well the last two or three games," Laguna Coach Bret Fleming said of Wednesday's defeat. "We played poorly against Godinez and probably should have lost that game. We played poorly against Costa Mesa and should have lost that game.

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"I think [what] has hurt us pretty much has been a lack of composure on offense. If we get an opener shot, the kids pretty much shoot with confidence. But at other times, we go to the basket when we shouldn't and give up the open shot inside by kicking it out when we should shoot. It's backwards."

Laguna trailed Saddleback, 15-10, after one quarter and managed just six points in the second quarter, trailing, 24-16, at the half.

The Breakers did hold Saddleback (1-4 league) to just three points in the third quarter and pulled to within 27-25 going into the fourth.

Brandon Lewis was the lone Laguna player in double figures with 13 points.

Laguna hasn't scored more than 39 points in each of its last three league games. They beat Godinez, 36-32, on Jan. 19 and edged Costa Mesa, 37-36, last Friday.

Yet the defending league champs still held sole possession of first place heading into Wednesday's game.

"I will say that Godinez and Saddleback are kind of ball-control [teams] that don't push it up the court," Fleming said. "But really, it's been a lack of us not making plays."

Despite a porous showing on offense, Laguna was able to sneak out of Costa Mesa with a huge league win that temporarily put the Breakers in control of the league race.

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