A dance forced Costa Mesa High to play a girls' basketball game much earlier than usual on Friday.

The Mustangs' game was at 2:30 p.m. and it was a crucial one, for third place in the Orange Coast League and a guaranteed CIF Southern Section playoff berth.

When the game ended, the Mustangs didn't stick around for the dance at Saddleback High after they lost to Laguna Beach, 43-30, in a league playoff game for third place.

The Mustangs hope they'll be dancing in the playoffs next week.

"We should be a playoff team," said Coach Nichole Maddox, adding that she expects Costa Mesa (15-13 overall) to receive an at-large berth into the CIF Southern Section Division 4-AA playoffs on Sunday, when the playoff pairings are released.

Costa Mesa finished in fourth place in league, its worst finish during Maddox's four seasons in charge.

The Mustangs and Breakers played for the second time in three days. Costa Mesa forced the league playoff game after winning at Laguna Beach, 36-31, on Wednesday, putting each team at 6-4.

The playoff game was on a neutral site and the Breakers saw the return of their leading scorer and rebounder, Jackie Cenan. She missed Wednesday's game with an illness.

Cenan recovered nicely, leading Laguna Beach (19-5 overall) with 18 points.

"It was pretty close for most of the [first half]," said Maddox, whose team trailed at halftime, 21-15. "But we got into foul trouble."

Costa Mesa was outscored, 11-5, in the third quarter. The only time it recorded double-digit points in a quarter was the fourth.

Molly Settles, a senior, led the Mustangs with 12 points. In her previous two games against Laguna Beach, Settles averaged just four points.

Danielle Obong contributed eight points for Costa Mesa.

The Mustangs are looking to make their fourth straight postseason appearance under Maddox.

— From staff reports

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BOYS' SOCCER

Corona del Mar 2, University 1

IRVINE — Senior Chris Von Der Ahe and junior Max Premer each scored goals on Friday for the Sea Kings, who finished in second place in the Pacific Coast League.

Goalkeeper Hagen Truninger made fives saves for CdM (5-2-3 in league).

Reed Wolonsky and Daniel McCabe played well on defense.