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High School Roundup: Breakers grab title again

Laguna Beach boys' water polo team beats Costa Mesa, 18-4, to win league crown for eighth straight year.

November 07, 2013|By Mike Sciacca

The Orange Coast League championship again belongs to the Laguna Beach High boys' water polo team.

On the final day of the league and regular season Wednesday, the Breakers claimed the title by defeating visiting Costa Mesa, 18-4, in a game that decided the 2013 champion.

Both the Breakers, ranked sixth in CIF Southern Section Division 2, and Mustangs entered Wednesday's game with 4-0 league records.

Seniors Trevor Collins and Rian Atherton, along with junior Sean Whitlock, scored three goals each for Laguna, which won the OCL title for the eighth straight year. Junior Aki Andersen had a team-high four steals, and junior goalie Garrett Hartley had seven saves and three steals.

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"It was Senior Day, so it was a special time to recognize the hard work of our seniors, Trevor Collins and Rian Atherton," Laguna Coach Ethan Damato said. "Our guys looked a little tired from Tuesday's game with El Toro but found a way to push through it and secure the league championship.

"It's playoff time now, so I think everyone is pretty excited."

Laguna will take an overall record of 17-11 into the postseason, which starts Tuesday with wild-card games. The Breakers have the No. 1 seed from the OCL for the Division 2 playoffs and will play host to a first-round game Thursday.

The playoff pairings will be released Sunday.

Laguna on Tuesday played its final nonleague game of the season and came back from a 4-3 halftime deficit against El Toro to defeat the visiting Chargers, 9-7. Cade Baldridge had a team-high three goals to go with two assists and seven steals, and Hartley had seven saves.

The Breakers completed play Saturday at the two-day Steve Pal Memorial Tournament, where they finished seventh. They scored wins over Pacifica (19-4) and Claremont (No. 10, Division 2, 9-6), then dropped two matches to Servite (tie-No. 9, Division 1, 11-6), and ML King (No. 1, Division 3, 11-10). The Breakers finished the tournament against Ventura, the No. 7 team in Division 2, and scored a 13-12 win over the Cougars.

"It was an up-and-down weekend for us as a team," Damato said. "We lost Cade Baldridge in the second quarter against Claremont on Friday because of a cut over his eye that needed stitches. Not having him Saturday, definitely hurt us. We looked out of sync in the losses to Servite and King but responded well with a huge win over Ventura in a game that had big playoff implications. It was great to see the guys put their backs together and fight as a team in the last game.

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