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Breakers still alive in state tournament

There was no letdown from the weekend championship celebration: Laguna Beach continued on its roll Tuesday in the opening round of the Southern California Regional of the CIF State Tournament.

Four days after winning its second-straight CIF-Southern Section Division II-AA title, Laguna, seeded second in the Division III regional tournament, took a step toward what it hopes will be another state finals appearance after breezing past visiting Tehachapi, 25-10, 25-8, 25-10, at Dugger Gym.

Every Breaker got into the action as Laguna advanced to host third-seeded Cathedral Catholic of San Diego in a regional semifinal match at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Senior Dana Hutchinson led the Breakers with 13 kills and 10 aces. Senior Beka Farrar had six aces, senior Meaghan Flynn had 11 digs and junior Alex Palmer had 24 set assists.

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In postseason play, Laguna hasn’t lost a single game against five playoff opponents.

“We went out and took care of business," Laguna Coach Lance Stewart said. “Everybody got to play and got significant time on the court, which was nice.

“We were crisp and played well."

Tehachapi, from the CIF-Central Section, finished runner-up to Hanford in its division’s championship final.

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Up next for Laguna is a Cathedral Catholic team that was on the brink of defeat against visiting Corona del Mar Tuesday but stormed back to pull out a 17-25, 19-25, 38-36, 25-21, 15-8 victory. Cathedral Catholic won the San Diego Section Division III title.

“They’re a young team, and a young team can be dangerous if its gets on a roll," Stewart said. “They only have one senior and rely on some sophomores and freshmen. They’re tough."

Saturday’s other Division III semifinal has Bishop Montgomery playing at top-seed Harvard-Westlake.

The winners from Saturday’s semifinals advance to play in the regional final Tuesday. If Laguna and Harvard-Westlake both win, then the Breakers will play at Harvard-Westlake. If Laguna and Bishop Montgomery both win, then the Breakers will host Bishop Montgomery in a rematch of last Friday’s Southern Section Division II-AA final.

Laguna reached the Division III state final last year, where it lost the title match to Campolindo of Moraga.

Now competing in its 10th CIF state playoff tournament, Laguna improved its overall record in the tournament to 23-13 following the win over Tehachapi.



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