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Slumping Breakers trying to find groove

Breakers Roundup

Laguna Beach boys' basketball program has dropped five in a row, the latest coming in a game in which it led handily until the fourth quarter.

December 22, 2011|By Mike Sciacca
  • Laguna's Marcella Bechtel, right, battles a Laguna Hills player for the ball.
Laguna's Marcella Bechtel, right, battles a Laguna… (DON LEACH, Coastline…)

The Laguna Beach boys' basketball team was one of 10 teams to participate Wednesday on the opening day of the two-day Orange County North/South Challenge at El Toro High. Playing the first of an 11-game event, the Breakers were outscored by La Habra, 15-3, in the fourth quarter, and were handed a 48-44 defeat by the Highlanders.

The Breakers took a 22-18 halftime lead and extended their lead to 41-33 after three quarters.

"That's five games in a row now where we've had the lead, and lost," Laguna Coach Bret Fleming said. "The other teams get down against us, then get desperate. We've had problems finishing games."

Senior forward Brandon Lewis connected on five three-point shots and led Laguna with 17 points. Junior guard Jake Dalke hit four three-pointers and finished with 16 points. The Highlanders' Ryan Hall led all scorers with 26 points.

Laguna finished up play last week at the Charlie Wilkins Tournament at Westminster High. In a Dec. 16 game, the Breakers fell, 59-37, to Trabuco Hills after being outscored, 31-11, in the second half. Dalke scored a game-high 16 points and Lewis and junior guard Cole Kesler scored nine and eight points, respectively.

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In their tournament finale on Saturday, the Breakers jumped out to a 22-14 first-quarter lead on Culver City but ended up losing, 60-57. Lewis, who hit four three-pointers, and Kesler both scored 16 points. Dalke had the second of his four double-figure scoring games in the tournament with 14 points.

Laguna, which has dropped five straight games and is 5-7, enters the Estancia Tournament next week. The Breakers open with a 2:30 p.m. first-round game Tuesday against Marina.

"We've lost five games in a row and that has to be a first for our program in the last seven years," Fleming said. "It's frustrating but we had a good meeting [Thursday We've got this (Estancia) tournament coming up and we'll play four games there, and then we have 10 league games to play. We have 14 games left. I'm hoping we can turn things around."

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