Now, Bret Fleming will call his Laguna Beach High boys' basketball team league champions.
The longtime Laguna head coach watched his players snip away at the netting on one of the hoops at Dugger Gym Thursday night, moments after the Breakers had turned senior night into a big night for the program.
A smile of contentment crossed Fleming's face as the last of the nylon netting was sliced away.
Laguna sewed up an undefeated run through Orange Coast League play and in the process, won their seventh consecutive championship after running away from visiting Costa Mesa, 62-33.
The 2012-13 Breakers set the all-time record for the margin of victory (13 points) per game in league play in the 79-year history of the program. By going 10-0 against OCL competition, the Breakers became the first Laguna team since 1953 to finish league play 10-0. The 2009 squad went 8-0.
This year's Breakers became only the third undefeated league champion in program history. The program now has 14 league championships to its credit. Fleming, in his 18th year at the school, is 273-205 overall.
"Our deal tonight was that we wanted to look like champions, and finish like champions," he said. "I think we did that tonight."
The 70th meeting between the two teams wasn't close. Laguna, now 21-6 overall and ranked 10th in CIF Southern Section Division 4-AA, jumped out to a 15-4 lead after the opening quarter, pushed the lead to 13 on three occasions early in the second quarter, and didn't let the Mustangs closer than nine points the rest of the way.
The Breakers put the game away with a 15-0 run that turned a 12-point lead into a 50-23 advantage with 1:11 left in the third quarter.
Junior guard Alec Wulff had a hot hand in the second half. He scored 14 of his game-high 16 points in the final 18 minutes and hit three three-pointers. Senior guard Jake Dalke contributed 14 points. Junior post Noah Blanton, despite playing with an injured wrist, scored 11 points. He scored on a dunk off a miss by Dalke with 6:44 to play in the third quarter that took the lead to 34-18.
Junior post Josh Adams scored all of his 11 points in the first half. Senior guard Frank Shojaei came off the bench in the second half and scored four points.
Senior guard Cole Kesler suffered a leg cramp early in the fourth quarter and left the game with 6:05 remaining. He finished with seven points.
Laguna leads the all-time series, 49-21.
"It was nice to get all the seniors on the floor tonight," Fleming said. "
Laguna Beach competes in the playoffs next week. Playoff pairings will be released on Sunday.