The Corona del Mar High girls’ basketball team might agree that there is no place like home.
After winning their home opener against Costa Mesa to begin the season, the Sea Kings took their lumps away from their own floor.
A four-game losing streak began when senior center Tatiana Bruening (concussion) was unable to go in CdM’s game at Whittier Christian.
The Sea Kings snapped that skid in their final game of the Downey Tournament on Saturday, and they got their own tournament started off on the right foot on Tuesday.
Bruening had 17 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots, as the Sea Kings defeated Mission Viejo 60-22 in a rout to begin pool play in the CdM Tip-off Tournament.
“It just makes life easier for us,” Sea Kings coach Brason Alexander said of having a healthy Bruening in the rotation. “She’s just the constant in the middle for us, defensively and offensively. She’s still rounding out and getting into shape. She’s doing a nice job.”
Alexander said that a transition period has to take place from volleyball, where Bruening played middle blocker, to basketball shape. He said that the concussion slowed that progression, adding, “With concussion protocol, it also backs off the aerobic exercise.”
Senior guard Samantha Uehara also had her scoring touch. She made four shots from beyond the arc, leading to a 16-point performance.
The Sea Kings (3-4) got additional contributions from freshman Makena Tomlinson (eight points) and senior Alara Ersu (13 rebounds), a pair of post players who have added to CdM’s depth and toughness on the interior.
“She’s really helping us,” Alexander said of Ersu, who arrived from Turkey this year. “Obviously, we got lucky that she found us. The last two or three games, I think she’s finding a groove as far as the speed and then starting to offensive rebound.”
CdM will play El Modena (1-0) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. to complete Pool A action.
CdM Tip-off Tournament
Corona del Mar 60, Mission Viejo 22
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Mission Viejo 8 – 5 – 4 – 5 – 22
Corona del Mar 15 – 10 – 15 – 20 – 60
MV – DeLuca 7, Mirabella 6, Zoellner 3, Gardner 2, Gozzo 2, Paraklis 2.
3-pt. goals – None.
Fouled out – Zoellner.
Technicals – None.
CdM – Bruening 17, Uehara 16, Tomlinson 8, Alexander 7, Ersu 4, Beador 3, Zhang 3, N. Halafuka 2.
3-pt. goals – Uehara 4, Zhang 1.
Fouled out – Gyselaar.
Technicals – None.