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High School Roundup: Overtime final scene for Breakers

Girls' water polo team edged by Newport Harbor, 11-10, in CIF Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinal game.

February 21, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
(Don Leach / Coastline…)

When Laguna Beach and Newport Harbor get together in the pool for girls' water polo competition, the action almost never seems to lack drama.

Saturday at the Laguna pool, it was turned up a notch.

The sixth-ranked Breakers and fourth-ranked Sailors went up against each other for a second time this season in a CIF Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinal showdown where a berth in the semifinals awaited the winner. After a deadlock through regulation, it was Newport that survived to move on, following an 11-10 overtime victory.

The Sailors had won the regular-season meeting between the teams, 10-4, also at the Laguna pool.

Newport will take on rival Corona del Mar for the Division 1 title on Saturday. The Sailors advanced to the final by knocking out top-seeded Santa Barbara, 8-5, in Wednesday's semifinals.

In Saturday's game, Laguna took a 5-3 lead in the first quarter and led, 6-5, at the half. The Breakers maintained a one-point edge, 8-7, through three quarters. The score was tied late in the fourth but Newport Harbor took its first lead of the game, 9-8, with 35 seconds left in regulation. Laguna sophomore Makenzie Fischer answered by scoring the tying goal seconds later, and the teams went to overtime.

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Fischer was outstanding, scoring a game-best six goals four of which she netted in the opening quarter. Senior Lexi Del Toro scored three goals and senior Sydney Saxe scored once. Senior Mackenzie Baldridge had a team-high three assists and five steals, and junior goalie Jenna Knott had 11 saves.

Saturday marked the fourth time over the past two seasons that Newport and Laguna have played games that have gone to overtime. The Sailors won each of those games, and is 6-0, overall, against the Breakers during that span.

"I couldn't be more proud of the way the girls played," Laguna Coach Ethan Damato said. "We played with intensity, executed our game plan and played a great game. We battle for four-plus quarters and I thought we did everything we needed to do, to win."

Laguna, which went through another season unscathed in the Orange Coast League to win the championship, ended the year 19-10.

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