Laguna enjoys home cooking

Nearly three weeks into the 2010 season, the Laguna Beach High boys' water polo team on Tuesday finally played its first home game.

And what an opener it was for the Breakers, who rolled to a 13-2 victory against El Segundo.

Spencer Dodson scored three goals, had two assists and four steals, Nolan McConnell had two goals, three assists and six steals, Jack Clark scored twice with an assist and three steals and Erik Henrikson had 15 saves and two steals for Laguna which is ranked No. 1 in the CIF Division 3 poll. Rounding out the scoring for the Breakers was Samer Alkateb, Nicky Brunner, Camron Hauer, Tyler Mancusso, Tommy Renner and Caleb Scott with one goal each. Brunner and Hauer each also had two steals.

"Our game against El Segundo was a great way to open the season at home," Breakers Coach Ethan Damato said. "Anytime you hold a team to two goals, you know you played well defensively. But we know we can execute better on the offensive end. We will watch the tape and no doubt improve from the game."

Before taking down El Segundo, Laguna was coming off a weekend performance at the South Coast Tournament where it went 4-1 and finished in ninth place, the school's "highest finish in six, seven years," Damato said.

The Breakers defeated Dana Hills (12-5), Foothill (7-5), Servite (11-8) and Long Beach Wilson (9-5). Their lone loss was to Los Alamitos (12-4) which came in the second game.

Entering the tournament, which began Sept. 23 and was hosted by Newport Harbor High, Los Alamitos was ranked sixth and Servite seventh in CIF Division 1, and Long Beach Wilson was No. 2 and Foothill No. 4 in Division 2.

"The South Coast Tournament is a brutal tournament, and to top it off, we were in what was considered to be the toughest bracket," Damato said. "We played five very tough teams, Dana Hills, Foothill, Servite and Long Beach Poly, all ranked in Orange County and in their (CIF) divisions. The guys responded to challenge and played like a team at both ends of the pool. Every game it was different guy who stepped for us in the scoring department and every game we played great team defense. We know that is what we will have to do to win those type of games."

Laguna and Dana Hills meet again Tuesday in nonleague play at the Laguna pool. Also next week, the Breakers play an Orange Coast League game Wednesday at Estancia, then host Murrieta Valley, the top-ranked team in Division 2, Oct. 8.

"Dana Hills and Estancia will be tough tests for us next week," Damato said. "Dana Hills and Murrieta are great games because they are both out of our league and division and will give us a good idea of what we are doing well and what we need to do better, especially coming off a five-game tournament where we feel we have a lot of areas that we can improve."

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