Boys' Tennis: Breakers take it to the limit

As the 2015 season progressed for the Laguna Beach High boys' tennis team, so, too, did the Breakers who grew into the season which they took to the limit.

Laguna reached the Division 4 championship match of the CIF Southern Section boys' tennis playoffs May 22 and took on Redlands for the division title. The second-seeded Terriers ended up with the crown by defeating the top-seeded Breakers, 12-6, at The Claremont Club in Claremont.

Laguna's strength in the final came in doubles play, where the Breakers scored all six of their points. Winning two of three sets were the No. 1 team of Ryan Gee and Hayden Seitz (1-6, 6-1, 6-3), No. 2 Zack Washer/Sterling Dudley-Bowen (2-6, 6-3, 6-0), and No. 3 Adrian Azera/Ethan Gee (5-7, 6-1, 7-6).

Charles Keller, Tristan Krogius and Stuart Webb played singles for the Breakers. The trio took on Citrus Belt League singles champion Patrick Cachapero (6-0, 6-4, 6-0), Brysl Libao (6-0, 6-0, 6-0) and Bon Louis Angeles (6-3, 6-1, 6-2), who swept all nine points.

Laguna Coach Don Davis said the Terriers, champions of the Citrus Belt League, were "perhaps the strongest team" his team faced this year.

Redlands, runner-up to the title last year, won a section championship for the second time. The Terriers won their initial team title (Division 3) in 2004.

Davis guided the Breakers to a runner-up finish in his fourth year as head coach.

"Redlands was very strong at the top of their lineup, which made it difficult to match up, but our guys fought hard," he said. "They were very motivated and continued to fight even as the match went the other way."

A tough nonleague schedule prepared Laguna for Orange Coast League play where the Breakers again had an undefeated run (6-0) en route to winning the league championship. They went on to win the singles (Ryan Gee) and doubles (Washer/Krogius) titles at the OCL tournament before the start of postseason play.

In postseason play, the Breakers cruised past Segerstrom (Golden West League No. 2) and Quartz Hill (Golden League champion) by 17-1 scores, then won, 11-7, at Garden Grove (Garden Grove League champion) in a May 18 quarterfinal match. They rallied in a semifinal game May 20 at Rowland for a 10-8 win that sent them on to the division final.

Garden Grove had ended Laguna's season in the second round last year.

The Breakers, ranked No. 1 throughout the regular season before taking the top seed into the playoffs, finished 19-4.

"The team continued to improve all season long, and everyone's confidence grew, especially during CIF as they beat two strong teams in Garden Grove in the quarterfinals, and Rowland in the semifinals," Davis said.

The Breakers lose only Azera (graduating) from this year's team. Keller, Nick Besso and Jake Robbins were freshmen this year, Washer, Krogius and Ethan Gee finished their sophomore seasons, and Ryan Gee, Seitz, Dudley-Bowen, Clayton Haines and Stuart Webb, will be seniors next year.

Twitter: @MikeSciacca