COSTA MESA — A lengthy team meeting followed the game Tuesday night for the Costa Mesa High girls' basketball team.
"We talked about confidence and taking open shots," Coach Nichole Maddox said. "We passed up on a lot of shots today."
The Mustangs failed to get any separation in the Orange Coast League either. Laguna Beach blew out the hosts, 56-27.
Laguna Beach (15-3, 3-2 in league) moved into a second-place tie with Costa Mesa (12-8, 3-2) and Godinez (3-2 in league) halfway through league play. Estancia (5-0 in league) is alone in first.
The Breakers have size inside, but Costa Mesa just had trouble making shots. Only one player made more than two field goals. That was junior Alexa Loredo, who led Mesa with 10 points.
Costa Mesa was actually in the game early, but seniors Molly Settles and Rachel Witter each picked up two fouls in the first quarter. With the starters on the bench, Laguna Beach began to pull away.
Sheena Reskey's baseline jumper, on an assist by junior point guard Danielle Obong, pulled Mesa within 15-14 early in the second quarter. But the Breakers ended the first half with nine unanswered points.
Laguna Beach was in the midst of a 21-2 run that lasted well into the third quarter. Freshman Jackie Cenan, who nearly outscored the Mustangs by herself with 24 points, did much of the damage.
Coming into the game, Cenan led the league in scoring at 18.9 points a game. On Tuesday night she added 10 rebounds and seven steals. She made 10 of 12 free throws.
"That was a quiet 24," Laguna Beach Coach Mark Lewis said. "She's a heck of an athlete, a very instinctive player. I thought she settled herself well in the second half. I don't know if she was jittery or trying to do too much in the first half, but she certainly settled herself at halftime."
Junior center Jane Wallin added 11 points for the Breakers, and freshman Alexandra Lewis scored 10.
Loredo was the only Mesa player with more than four points. Settles and Jacqueline Guerrero each had four. Aubriona Mathis chipped in a basket and 10 rebounds.
"I'm very pleased with how the girls played," Lewis said. "A good team win. I just thought that our rotations defensively were really good. Everybody had their head in the game, and we were really tracking the ball well. I thought we just moved well on defense."
Maddox, whose team had its lowest point total since a 61-28 loss to Tustin on Dec. 28, said her team can bounce back. Costa Mesa plays at Godinez on Thursday.
"They've just got to know that they can do it and have the confidence that they can do it," she said. "We're at a point where it's up to them to want it more than the other team. Anything's possible. We're still right in it. We just have to hope the numbers fall our way."
Laguna Beach, meanwhile, plays host to Estancia in a key game Thursday night. The Eagles won the teams' first meeting, 60-55, at Estancia on Jan. 15.
"We're capable of beating anybody when we play the type of basketball we're capable of playing," Lewis said. "I think we proved that here tonight."
Orange Coast League
Laguna Beach 56, Costa Mesa 27