Bruening, Beador posts double-doubles in CdM loss to Laguna Hills

Teams can learn as much about themselves during a loss as they can during a winning streak.

Corona del Mar High’s girls’ basketball team had the good fortune of enjoying a three-game winning streak last week at the SoCal Holiday Prep Classic in San Diego, breathing confidence into a team that seemed destined to repeat the mediocrity of a four-win campaign in the 2016-17 season.

The Sea Kings have found their identity, and even in a loss, they showed why they need to be accounted for when the Pacific Coast League season begins next week.

Junior center Tatiana Bruening and sophomore power forward Sophie Beador both had double-doubles for CdM, but the host Sea Kings fell to Laguna Hills 55-47 in a nonleague game on Saturday afternoon.

Bruening had 20 points and 22 rebounds, while Beador produced 12 points, 10 rebounds and two steals.

“Last year, I was a freshman, and I would only have like two points a game,” Beador said. “Now, I’m starting to find my groove and discover my full potential.

“I think Tati and I both have a lot of potential, and I’m excited to see where it goes.”

The tough lesson for CdM (4-10) was learning the consequences of turning the ball over to a team with talented guards. When Laguna Hills (7-7) created a turnover, sophomore guard Kayla Chang made the Sea Kings pay. She had a game-high 35 points, and that was not even close to her career high.

Chang scored 55 points in a Laguna Hills win over Northwood in the CdM Tip-off Tournament on Nov. 28. Maybe she ought to consider transferring to CdM so that she can play more games in the Sea Kings’ home gym.

All jokes aside, Chang offered another reason for her offensive outbursts. It helps when you are playing a game with someone you have played next to all your life, as Chang has done with her twin sister Lina (12 points).

We’ve been playing with each other for years,” Chang said. “I think there is chemistry from getting to play on teams together all throughout our lives.

“I know where she is. She knows where I am. I couldn’t do it without my sister.”

Sea Kings coach Brason Alexander expected that his team would be in the game, and it was throughout the contest. Laguna Hills led 18-17 after the first quarter. CdM took a 25-24 lead into halftime, and the Sea Kings extended that lead to 43-38 on the first possession of the fourth quarter.

A jump shot from Aya Prow tied the score at 45-45 with 4:44 remaining. CdM would manage just one basket after that, a layup by Bruening with 2:46 left that cut Laguna Hills’ lead to 48-47.

“It’s just the turnovers,” Alexander said. “You can’t let that team out in transition. That’s the game. We talked all week about limiting turnovers and having possessions where we swing the ball and make them work on defense. We did a really poor job of managing the ball. We passed when we should have shot, and we shot when we should have passed.

“The nice thing about a young team is they generally bounce back.”

CdM begins Pacific Coast League play at University on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

*

Laguna Hills 55, Corona del Mar 47

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Laguna Hills 18 – 6 – 14 – 17 — 55

Corona del Mar 17 – 8 – 16 – 6 — 47

LH – K. Chang 35, L. Chang 12, Gama 4, Wiklem 2, Ibrahim 2.

3-pt. goals – L. Chang 3, K. Chang 1.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – None.

CdM – Bruening 20, Beador 12, Prow 5, Gyselaar 4, Lee 4, Jordan 2.

3-pt. goals – Prow 1, Beador 1.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – None.

andrew.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @ProfessorTurner

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