Clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch by two players new to the program, and the all-around hustle by a veteran, paved the way Monday for the Laguna Beach High girls’ basketball team, which recorded a 49-47 nonleague victory at Sage Hill.
It was the first win of the season for the Breakers, who are now 1-1, and the first for Coach Jon Hendrickson, who is in his first year at the school.
Senior point guard Tess Grogan scored 18 points and “was all over the court both offensively and defensively and led the way with her energy and leadership," Hendrickson said.
A pair of freshmen, Emily Writer and Samantha Garner, combined to hit nine foul shots in the fourth quarter to bolster the Breakers. Writer finished with 11 points, and Garner had six.
Also hitting the scoring column were Emily LaRose with eight points, Lauren Kelly with four and Katy Daff with three.
“No matter what the score or how we’re doing, my players give it their all and play hard," Hendrickson said. “It is a joy to watch and fun to coach.
“It felt great getting that first win, especially holding on for what seemed like the longest minute of my life."
Laguna currently is playing in the Segerstrom Tournament which began Monday (Dec. 10) and ends Saturday (Dec. 15).
Following the tournament, the Breakers will visit St. Margaret’s Tuesday (Dec. 18) for a 7:30 p.m. nonleague game.
In boys’ basketball
Laguna began play Tuesday (Dec. 11) in the Garden Grove Tournament and the Breakers routed Rancho Alamitos, 65-31, to notch their fourth win of the season.
The Breakers (4-1) overcame a 13-12 first-quarter deficit by outscoring the Argonauts, 18-2 in the second quarter to take a 30-15 lead at the half.
“We came into the game not knowing much about them but in that second quarter we started to execute well offensively and changed into a match-up zone on defense," Breakers Coach Bret Fleming said. “They struggled against our zone, and we really took command."
More impressive to Fleming was the way his team came out in the third quarter.
The Breakers used a quick run at the outset of the third quarter and went on to outscore Rancho, 19-6 in the third quarter, to open up a 49-21 lead.
“I was really pleased with our play in the third quarter," Fleming said. “We were up 15 at the half but I challenged our guys to come out strong and play hard in the second half, and they did. We really put the game away at that point."
Guard Kevin Buck led the Breakers in scoring with 20 points. Marcus Hairston and Kenny Sullivan also scored in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Rounding out Laguna’s scoring was Charley Bowman with seven points, Ryan Lawler with six, Parker King had five, Dylan Roley four and Jason House had two points.
The Breakers continue play today in the tournament which concludes Saturday (Dec. 15) with championship-round action.
“We won this tournament last year and I’d like us to be right there again Saturday," Fleming said.
On Monday (Dec. 17), Laguna will visit Sage Hill. Tipoff for the nonleague game is 7 p.m.