A 12-day layoff, and two months' worth of playing games on the road, came to an end in Santa Ana Wednesday for the Laguna Beach High boys' basketball team.
The Breakers have played each of their first 17 games of the 2013-14 season on foreign courts. That 17th game tipped off Wednesday at Saddleback High and it marked the Orange Coast League opener for both teams. The Breakers steamroller the Roadrunners and the defending league champions ran away with a 74-25 victory.
Laguna took a 21-8 lead after one quarter, held a 35-17 halftime advantage, and then held Saddleback to only eight second-half points and held the Roadrunners scoreless in the fourth quarter.
The 49-point separation between the Breakers and Roadrunners tied the Laguna school record for widest margin of victory (first set in a 2008 game against Murrieta Calvary Chape). The fourth-quarter shutout also tied a program record for a shutout in one quarter, originally set against Beckman in 2009, and repeated in 2010 against Irvine.
"It was a solid team effort, with everybody getting an opportunity to play and contribute," Coach Bret Fleming said. "We did a nice job of sharing the ball and playing together."
The balanced effort sent Laguna, ranked No. 9 in CIF Southern Section Division 4AA, to 12-5 overall.
Senior forward Josh Adams led three Breakers in double figures with 22 points. Senior guards Alec Wulff and Noah Blanton scored 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Also scoring for the Breakers were senior guards Matt Jones (eight points) and Bryan Ludloff (seven points), junior forward Samiar Tehrani (two points), and junior guards Garrett Wong (two points) and Isaac Wulff (one point).
Having started the season Dec. 2, the Breakers finally play their first home game Friday when they play host to Estancia at 7 p.m. at Dugger Gym. On Wednesday, they play host to Calvary Chapel, also at 7 p.m.
"I know the guys are really excited to play at home," Fleming said. "Hopefully, we can temper that excitement and play with some poise."
The Breakers' home opener Friday against Estancia is the first online game broadcast this year on Laguna Beach's community radio station, KX 93.5 (www.KX935.com). The station will broadcast all home games for the Breakers. Game commentary will be provided by Barrett Thornton, a senior at Laguna Beach, and longtime Laguna Beach resident, Dustin Mudd.
The Breakers started their 10-game Orange Coast League schedule Tuesday, and routed host Saddleback, 54-17.
Sophomore guard Alexandra Lewis connected on five three-point shots to lead Laguna and single handedly outscore Saddleback with 19 points. Sophomore guard Jackie Cenan scored 14 points and senior center Jane Wallin also scored in double figures with 13 points.
Freshmen guards Nicole Davidson had four and three points, respectively, and sophomore forward Francesca Cecutti rounded out the scoring with one point.
The victory put Laguna at 11-6 overall.
"Good win with nice, balanced scoring," Laguna Coach Mark Lewis said of his team's performance. "We had all aspects of our game working, inside, mid-range, and outside. Strong performance defensively.
"It was a good way to start league with a road victory. League will be quite competitive this year and no team can be overlooked, so it was a good, sound victory."
Before launching its league season, Laguna closed out the nonleague portion of its schedule Jan. 10 with a home game against St. Margaret's. Playing its first game since Dec. 30, and first at home since Dec. 18, the Breakers defeated the Tartans, 52-38, at Dugger Gym.
Balance on offense also keyed this win. Cenan topped the scoring with 16 points. Wallin scored 11, and Alexandra Lewis got her nine points on three three-point shots. Cecutti scored eight points, sophomore forward Murphy Thompson had five points, and Davidson hit a three-point shot.
Laguna raced to an 18-6 lead after the first quarter and maintained a double-digit advantage throughout much of the remainder of the game.
"It was a good game to prepare us going into league after having had nearly two weeks away from game competition," said Mark Lewis whose team played its first game since finishing play more than two weeks ago at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic in Palm Springs.
Laguna took on Estancia Thursday. The score from the OCL game wasn't available at press time.
The Breakers have two, 6 p.m. league games on tap next week, starting with a Tuesday game at Calvary Chapel. They also travel to Godinez Thursday.