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Blanton to play in all-star game

Basketball

Laguna Beach senior a seletion for boys' South team, which plays Saturday at Concordia University in Irvine.

April 10, 2014|By Mike Sciacca

When the 49th edition of the North-South 12th-Grade All-Star Basketball Games gets underway Saturday, there will be a Laguna Beach High presence at the annual event.

Laguna Beach senior Noah Blanton is a selection to the boys' South team roster. The South will take on the North in the second of two games Saturday at Concordia University in Irvine.

The annual spring games, featuring some of the top senior players in Orange County and sponsored by the Orange Coast Optimist Club, opens with the girls' game at 5 p.m. The boys' game follows at approximately 7:30 p.m.

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Additionally, the event names a boys' and girls' coach of the year selected from among county teams each year, and Laguna Beach girls' head coach Mark Lewis was named the 2014 Orange County Girls' Coach of the Year.

The Boys' Coach of the Year honor went to Joseph Aihara of Western.

The players selected for the game, coaches of the North and South teams, and the county coaches of the year, were recognized by the Orange Coast Optimist Club during a banquet celebration April 2.

Blanton had a big year for Laguna, which again repeated as Orange Coast League champion. In his senior season, he averaged 14.4 points and 10 rebounds per game during the Breakers' 23-6 campaign that included a trip to the CIF Southern Section Division 4AA quarterfinals.

Blanton, who ended his career as Laguna's No. 2 all-time rebounder, was named MVP of the OCL, and also made the All-CIF Southern Section boys' Division 4AA First Team.

He is the 15th player under Laguna Coach Bret Fleming to play in the Orange County All-Star Game.

"It's always an honor for kids to be selected to play in the Orange County All-Star Game," Fleming said. "It recognizes them as one of the top seniors in the county. Noah was very deserving of this honor."

Mark Lewis completed his third year as head coach at Laguna Beach this past winter. Following what he called a "rough," 0-3 start to the 2013-14 season, the Breakers went on to turn in a 19-9 season. Along the way, they took third place at the Ocean View Tournament and finished in second place in the Orange Coast League, their 8-2 league record tying the school record for most league wins in a season. The 19 wins for the season, also tied the program record for victories in a season, set last year by Lewis' second Laguna team.

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