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Breakers bounce back

High School Roundup

Laguna Beach rebound from loss to Foothill and open Orange Coast League with 27-8 win against Saddleback.

January 16, 2014|By Mike Sciacca
(Don Leach / Coastline…)

Less than a week after being handed its first loss of the season, the Laguna Beach High girls' water polo team got back to its winning ways Wednesday.

The Breakers, who were derailed Jan. 10 at home by Foothill, stormed past host Saddleback, 27-8, in an Orange Coast League opener. Defensively, they held the Roadrunners to a single goal in the opening half, and were well in command at halftime, leading, 18-1.

Freshman attacker Bella Baldridge, junior utility Makenzie Fischer and senior utility Cara Borkovec, each scored four goals to lead the Laguna offense. Baldridge also had a team-high four assists.

The Breakers set new program records for points (27) in a game and total assists (25).

Laguna, the defending OCL champion, won its 10th game in improving to 10-1.

"It was good to see the girls playing loose and having fun," Laguna Coach Ethan Damato said. "We had a great first quarter and jumped out to a big lead. Saddleback never gave up and played hard for four quarters.

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"This [game] was great for us, because we were able to work on different defenses, run different plays, and get ready for the upcoming games this weekend. This game served as a nice tune-up before [Friday's] game with Dos Pueblos."

Laguna is in Santa Barbara this weekend for the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions. The two-day tournament starts Friday and runs through Saturday. Games will be played at the high school pools at Santa Barbara and Dos Pueblos.

Laguna is the top seed in Pool A, which includes Santa Margarita, San Marcos, and Corona Santiago. Pool B includes Corona del Mar, Mater Dei, Murrieta Valley and Dos Pueblos; Pool C is Newport Harbor, Santa Barbara, Montebello and El Toro; Pool D is Foothill, Los Alamitos, Agoura and San Clemente.

The Breakers open tourney play at 1:30 p.m. Friday against Santiago at Santa Barbara High.

"The Tournament of Champions is the toughest tournament of the year as every year, the best 16 teams in Southern California are invited to play," Damato said. "The field is really tough every year and your spot is never guaranteed. A lot of the same teams [competing] from the Holiday Cup, but a deeper talent pool with most of the top [CIF Southern Section] Division 2 teams, as well."

One team the Breakers could run into at the tournament is Foothill.

The Knights did something that none of Laguna's previous nine opponents could do: beat the Breakers. They did it by an 8-7 final.

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