The Laguna Beach girls' Division 1 team has roared out of the gate to start its 2011-12 National Junior Basketball season.
On Saturday at Thurston Middle School in Laguna Beach, Laguna rolled to a 72-18 victory over the Aliso Niguel Terrapins to run its record to 4-0. The team is composed of seventh- and eighth-grade players. Last year's Laguna team went undefeated.
"Thus far, our size has been a huge advantage for us," Coach Mark Lewis said. "We are skilled at all positions and the girls have a good sense for the game. We have pretty balanced scoring and can beat teams inside and out. Our defensive pressure has created a number of easy opportunities for us in the transition game."
Laguna puts its perfect record on the line Sunday when it plays a road game at Aliso Niguel.
Four local Junior Team Tennis squads finished in first or second place during league play and qualified for the Orange County playoffs. Three of the four local teams advanced to their respective division final.
The 12 & Under Intermediate team defeated Homestead Park (Irvine), 6-3 (44-26 games), on Saturday. The team went on to post a 6-3 win (43-33 games) over UC Irvine in Sunday's division final. The local team is made up of Jett Cole, Nicholas Besso, Mason Lebby, William Michelson, Peter Szacaks, Francis Pillsbury and Scott Yoder.
The 10U Novice team downed two teams from Irvine. The team won Saturday's semifinal, 8-1 (52-26 games), and Sunday's final, 7-2 (48-16 games). Team members are Sarah MacCallum, Charlie Besso, Jai Lin Garrett, Megan Mindte, Jessa Chaney and Claire Smithers.
The 14U Novice team won its semifinal, 6-3 (43-28 games), on Saturday against University Park (Irvine). The team went into Sunday's final one player short, which cost them 12 points. The team fell, 6-3 (41-31 games) in a contest where two matches went to tie-breaker. Team members playing Sunday were Cameron Andersen, Jaden Christiansen, Marianna Krumrine, Emma Paddon and Malia Helms.
The 14U Intermediate team lost its semifinal, 7-2 (49-27 games). Ashley Shelton, the team's No. 2 player, took her match to tie-break and No. 6 Lauren Thunen won her match, 6-4. Shelton and Thunen teamed to get a 6-2 win at No. 2 doubles.
Junior Tennis teams are heading into their spring seasons. Interested players can contact Coach Julie Heussenstamm — director of player development, All Court Tennis — at (949) 933-4850 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.