Wednesday was undoubtedly a very proud day for the Laguna Beach High boys’ golf program.
The Orange Coast League champion Breakers showed the depth that earned them that league title, as three golfers "” seniors Charles Hewlett and Mike Cannon, and junior Andrew Palmer "” moved on to CIF Individuals after the league finals at Sky Links Golf Course in Long Beach.
Estancia’s Jake Knapp was league champion, with a two-day score of six-under par 138. But Hewlett fired an even-par 144 over the two-day tournament and Cannon and Palmer tied for third with scores of 152.
The top four individuals advanced to CIF Individuals May 17 at Sky Links.
“I’m super proud of the guys," Laguna Coach Scott Finn said. "[Wednesday] it was a six-hour round and those guys didn’t give up. It’s a really nice accomplishment."
The Breakers’ Mike Hay finished with a two-round total of 166 and Clay Steele shot a 168.
As a team, Laguna tied for the league title with Calvary Chapel, but Finn said the Breakers won the tiebreaker to earn the No. 1 league designation headed into the CIF team playoffs.
Those begin at 7 a.m. Monday, when the Southern Team Divisional is at Tijeras Creek Golf Club in Santa Margarita.
Should the Breakers advance, the CIF Southern Section team finals are Thursday at Redhawk Golf Club in Temecula.
Laguna earned its first home league victory of the season Tuesday, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Behind another strong pitching performance from senior Casey Miller, the Breakers topped Estancia, 7-1, on Tuesday and remain alive in their quest for a CIF playoff spot.
The Breakers (5-4 in league) and Eagles (6-3) play again today at Estancia. A victory today by Laguna and the teams would be in a second-place tie behind Costa Mesa (7-2) headed into the final week of the regular season.
Calvary Chapel is also 5-4 in league.
League’s title hopes are also still alive if Laguna wins out against the Mustangs next week.
Laguna hasn’t made the playoffs in back-to-back years in the recent past, and hasn’t won a league title since 1963.
But Coach Jeff Sears’ focus is still much more immediate.
“We’re looking pitch by pitch, inning by inning," Sears said.
Miller (5-4) pitched a complete game Tuesday, allowing a run on four hits. He walked two and struck out six.
Keaton Jones was three for three for the Breakers, and Miller, Robbie McInerny and Alex Ianotti each had two hits.
“When we show up and we throw strikes, we can be very good," Sears said.
“The tempo that Casey had on the mound was ‘Get the ball and throw it, get the ball and throw it.’ "
The Orange Coast League individual finals were Thursday, after press time.
The league champion Breakers now prepare for the CIF Southern Section Division IV playoffs, which start next week.
Pairings are set to be released Monday.
TRACK AND FIELD
Orange Coast League finals were Thursday, after press time.
Next up for the Breakers are the CIF Southern Section Division III preliminaries, scheduled for May 15 at Estancia High.
Orange Coast League finals were Thursday, with the Breakers heavy favorites to defend their league titles on both the boys’ and girls’ sides. CIF Southern Section Division III preliminaries are at 10 a.m. Thursday at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, with the finals at 10 a.m. May 15, also at Belmont.