Having dropped its first two games at the Oxford Patriot Tournament in Cypress, the Laguna Beach High girls' basketball team will go after its initial win when it takes on host Oxford Academy Friday.
Laguna, the defending tournament champion, dropped two close games to start the tourney. On Tuesday, the Breakers fell, 35-29, to Westminster La Quinta. The following day, they were edged Wednesday by Western, 52-49.
In Tuesday's game against La Quinta, the Breakers fell behind, 28-13, but went on a 15-0 run in the second half to pull even at 28-28. Senior center Jane Wallin scored 12 points and sophomore forward Jackie Cenan had 11 points for the Breakers.
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"We were flat for most of the night with the exception of the [15-0] run in the second half," Laguna Coach Mark Lewis said.
Wednesday's game against Western was a rematch of last year's tournament title game won by Laguna. This time, it was the Pioneers who emerged with a victory.
Laguna (0-3) went up by one point with under a minute to play but Western hit a three-point shot to take a two-point lead and held on for the win.
Cenan led the scoring with 28 points, and Wallin contributed 11 points.
The tournament continues Friday and concludes Saturday. The Laguna-Oxford Academy game Friday tips at 3 p.m.
Laguna begins play at the Hawk Holiday Classic at Ocean View High on Monday. The Breakers open pool play against Dominguez at 3 p.m. Their second game is against Santa Ana Valley at 3 p.m. Thursday. They face host Ocean View at 3 p.m. Dec. 13 in their final pool-play game.
The 26-team tournament runs through Dec. 14.
"All [games] will be challenging but if we play like we played [against Western], we will be right there competing for a win," Lewis said.
The Breakers started their season Monday at the Godinez Invitational, and won their first two games at the tournament.
Laguna started with a 48-43 victory Monday over Katella. Senior guard Noah Blanton led three Breakers in double figures with 13 points. Senior forward Josh Adams scored 12 points and senior guard Alec Wulff had 12 points.
Despite the win, Coach Bret Fleming said his team "didn't play particularly well."
The Breakers followed the Katella win with an 81-53 rout of Fullerton Tuesday. Blanton and Wulff both netted 24 points with Wulff getting 21 of his points on seven three-pointers. Adams finished with 15 points, senior guard Matt Jones scored seven points, and senior guard Bryan Ludloff added six points.
"The kids played really hard, and well," Fleming said.
Laguna took on Capistrano Valley in a Gold bracket tournament game Thursday. The score wasn't available at press time.
The Godinez Invitational continues Friday and concludes with championship and consolation round games.
Next week, Laguna goes to Dana Hills for a 7 p.m. nonleague game Wednesday.