The Orange Coast League championship again belongs to the Laguna Beach High boys' water polo team.
On the final day of the league and regular season Wednesday, the Breakers claimed the title by defeating visiting Costa Mesa, 18-4, in a game that decided the 2013 champion.
Both the Breakers, ranked sixth in CIF Southern Section Division 2, and Mustangs entered Wednesday's game with 4-0 league records.
Seniors Trevor Collins and Rian Atherton, along with junior Sean Whitlock, scored three goals each for Laguna, which won the OCL title for the eighth straight year. Junior Aki Andersen had a team-high four steals, and junior goalie Garrett Hartley had seven saves and three steals.
"It was Senior Day, so it was a special time to recognize the hard work of our seniors, Trevor Collins and Rian Atherton," Laguna Coach Ethan Damato said. "Our guys looked a little tired from Tuesday's game with El Toro but found a way to push through it and secure the league championship.
"It's playoff time now, so I think everyone is pretty excited."
Laguna will take an overall record of 17-11 into the postseason, which starts Tuesday with wild-card games. The Breakers have the No. 1 seed from the OCL for the Division 2 playoffs and will play host to a first-round game Thursday.
The playoff pairings will be released Sunday.
Laguna on Tuesday played its final nonleague game of the season and came back from a 4-3 halftime deficit against El Toro to defeat the visiting Chargers, 9-7. Cade Baldridge had a team-high three goals to go with two assists and seven steals, and Hartley had seven saves.
The Breakers completed play Saturday at the two-day Steve Pal Memorial Tournament, where they finished seventh. They scored wins over Pacifica (19-4) and Claremont (No. 10, Division 2, 9-6), then dropped two matches to Servite (tie-No. 9, Division 1, 11-6), and ML King (No. 1, Division 3, 11-10). The Breakers finished the tournament against Ventura, the No. 7 team in Division 2, and scored a 13-12 win over the Cougars.
"It was an up-and-down weekend for us as a team," Damato said. "We lost Cade Baldridge in the second quarter against Claremont on Friday because of a cut over his eye that needed stitches. Not having him Saturday, definitely hurt us. We looked out of sync in the losses to Servite and King but responded well with a huge win over Ventura in a game that had big playoff implications. It was great to see the guys put their backs together and fight as a team in the last game.
"In Tuesday's win over El Toro, I thought the guys looked good and showed me they are ready for the playoffs."
The Breakers have been battle-tested this season, having played a tough schedule that will include several of the top Division 2 teams vying for the division championship.
"We have beaten the No. 3 (Dos Pueblos) and No. 4 (Villa Park) teams, lost to No. 2 (Murrieta Valley) in overtime, and No. 5 (Foothill) by one [goal]," Damato said. "Make no doubts about it, we are in the hunt and we can beat anyone in the division. It's going to take a tough win every round to get to where we want to go, but I know we can do it. "
The Breakers, the third-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division 1-A, won the Orange Coast League championship with another perfect run, putting the finishing touches on a 10-0 record by sweeping host Costa Mesa, 25-14, 25-12, 25-17, Tuesday.
Sabrina Stillwell had eight kills and nine digs, Kelsey Paul seven kills, Katelyn Carballo six kills and seven digs, Cameron Dorn and Charlotte Andrews both had five kills, and Aspen Rocha had 21 set assists for the Breakers.
Laguna (19-9 overall) has now won 80 consecutive league matches and has captured 33 league championships in 40 years. The Breakers, who are 52-1 all-time in best-of-five matches against the Mustangs (2-17, 1-9), won the OCL title for the eighth consecutive time.
In a previous league match Oct. 31, Laguna swept visiting Godinez, 25-17, 25-15, 25-12. Dorn had eight kills, Stillwell five kills and 11 digs, Brooke Borges 12 digs, Sage Patchell 13 digs, and Rocha had eight digs and 15 assists.
Laguna is now 12-0 all-time against the Grizzlies.
The Breakers are in line for one of the top seeds in next week's CIF Southern Section Division 1-A playoffs. The playoff pairings will be released Saturday.
Laguna will play host to a first-round match Tuesday.
Orange Coast League champion Laguna played Oct. 31 at the CIF Southern Division Team Championships on the Mesa Linda golf course (par 70) at Costa Mesa Country Club. The Breakers were among 24 teams in the tournament, which was won by Mater Dei (371 team score).
"Overall, our team had a very successful year, winning our first league title in the past four years, so our team did play up to their potential, which, as a coach, is always rewarding to see," Laguna Assistant Coach Sean Quigley said.
Breakers Jackie McMahon and MaryKate Quellmalz played in the CIF Southern Division Individual Regional tournament Oct. 28 at the Classic Course (par 72) at Mile Square Golf Club in Fountain Valley. McMahon and Quellmalz were among 117 players competing at the event, but did not advance. The top 36 finishers from Oct. 28 advanced to the CIF Southern Section Individual Finals, which were Thursday at Talega Golf Club in San Clemente.
"Both Jackie and MaryKate represented themselves well, gave a good effort and played hard until the last hole," Quigley said. "They had the pleasure of experiencing a well-run, major tournament with some of the most skilled junior girls golfers in the state, if not the country. In fact, this year's field was the most competitive I've ever seen in the first round of CIF playoffs."
Orange Coast League MVP Natalie Mattison of Calvary Chapel did advance to Thursday's finals.
The boys' and girls' teams, both champion of the Orange Coast League, are idle this week. The Breakers next compete Nov. 16 at the CIF Southern Section Cross-Country Championships prelims meet at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.
The CIF Southern Section finals are Nov. 23 at Mt. SAC, and the CIF State Championships are Nov. 30 at Woodward Park in Fresno.
CIF Weekly Rankings
Girls' Volleyball: Laguna Beach (No. 3, Division 1A).
Girls' Tennis: Laguna Beach (tie-No. 2, Division 2).
Boys' Water Polo: Laguna Beach (No. 6, Division 2).
Girls' Cross-Country: Laguna Beach (No. 1, Division 4).
Boys' Cross-Country: Laguna Beach (No. 5, Division 4).Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun