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Basketball Roundup: Breakers, Mustangs clash for playoff spot

Laguna Beach girls' basketball team will face Costa Mesa with automatic berth on the line, Friday at 6 p.m. at Saddleback High.

February 07, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
(Don Leach | Coastline…)

A top-three finish in the Orange Coast League girls' basketball standings will be on the line Friday for the Laguna Beach Breakers.

Laguna and Costa Mesa are both tied for third place in the standings and will break that deadlock when they clash at 6 p.m. at Saddleback High. The Mustangs set up the game by handing the host Breakers a 36-31 defeat Wednesday at Dugger Gym.

The win allowed Costa Mesa to climb into a tie for third with Laguna. Both teams finished 6-4 in league play. The winner of Friday's game gains an automatic berth in next week's CIF Southern Section playoffs.

The Breakers played Wednesday's contest without leading scorer and rebounder Jackie Cenan, who was not available due to illness, Laguna Coach Mark Lewis said.

"The girls played hard," Lewis said. "As I told them afterward, I was proud of the effort. We just didn't execute as we should have.

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"We were missing Jackie [Cenan]. Defensively, we played well for the most part. Costa Mesa was quicker and hungrier for loose balls and second-chance rebound opportunities. We were also quite careless with our ball handling and passing especially down the stretch, which either led to scoring opportunities for Costa Mesa or at least limited our opportunities on our offensive end."

The Breakers were also plagued in the foul department and were whistled for 24 fouls. The Mustangs reached the double bonus in both halves.

"We had two girls foul out, [and] two others were limited in playing time throughout the game due to foul trouble," Lewis said. "So, combined with Jackie [Cenan] being out, we were challenged from a personnel standpoint."

Alexandra Lewis hit four, three-pointers and led all scorers with 12 points.

The Breakers are 18-5 overall heading into Friday's rematch with the Mustangs. Their five losses are by a combined 26 points.

"As has been the case in all of five of our losses this season, we are a good team capable of winning any game we play," Mark Lewis said. "We just need to tighten up our execution, play with a greater sense of urgency, and be more consistent in winning the close ones.

"We have won a few close ones this season, such as games against Ocean View, Western, Coachella Valley, and Estancia, so we can do it. We just need to improve on our consistency in doing so."

Prior to taking on Costa Mesa, Laguna split league games against Calvary Chapel and Godinez.

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