NewLeftHeader

clear sky

67.2°F

Laguna Beach


Breakers’ girls basketball rewrote the record books…and things are just getting started

Before we move completely to spring sports at our local high school, it’s definitely worth a look back at this year’s Breakers’ girls basketball team. 

First off, coach Matthew Tietz and his program finished at 21-13, qualifying for the CIF Sectional Playoffs, reaching the semi-finals, and then qualifying for the State Regionals before being eliminated in the 2nd round.

Those credentials in themself make this the most successful season in school history. These add to it: 21 wins are the most ever in one season; this is the first team to ever advance beyond the 2nd round of CIF Sectionals; first team to ever qualify for the CIF State Regionals; first team to ever win a state regional playoff game; and, with four playoff wins they tied for as many as any other team in school history.

The good news for Coach Tietz is that this year’s team only included one senior, guard Anna Cheng. And although Anna’s season was hampered by injuries, she got healthy toward the end of the year and subsequently became a force in the playoffs, hitting 16 3-pointers in the Breakers’ five playoff games.

Breakers girls basketball team

Courtesy of LBHS Athletics

(L-R) Breakers’ girls basketball team: Kate Cheng, Alicia Mendoza, Sabrina Yang, Alex Grombchevsky, Sophie Marriner, Kenna Rudolph, Izzy Gray, Anna Cheng, Brisa Campos, Maryana Wollam, Elaina Seybold

According to Tietz, “Anna graduates as one of the best all-around players in school history. She is a 4-year starter and 3-year captain. Anna is a 3-time winner of the team’s Offensive Player of the Year and was voted Best Teammate 3 times. Her 160 career 3-pointers ranks 2nd in school history. She is in the top 10 in points, steals and blocked shots in school history.”

In addition to Anna, the team was led by Co-Most Valuable Players Sophie Marriner and Kate Cheng. Along with the team MVP awards, the pair were both named 1st Team All-CIF and 1st Team All-League. 

Junior forward Marriner led the team in scoring, rebounding and assists, despite being the focal point of most opponents’ defenses according to Tietz. Her 423 rebounds shattered her own school record, led CIF-SS Division 5AA and ranked 5th in the entire state. 

According to Tietz, “Cheng was among the top freshmen in the state.” She led the team in blocked shots and was 2nd in scoring, rebounding and assists. 

The contributions didn’t stop there. “Junior wing Kenna Rudolph blossomed into a much more complete player this season,” according to Tietz.

She again led the team and 5AA with 48 3-pointers on the season, but also took on a much larger role, increasing her assist production 5-fold and doubling her steal totals, while reducing her turnover rate. She was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year for her efforts at that end of the court.

Junior Sabrina Yang and Sophomore Alex Grombchevsky split the duties at point guard and also played wing. Again, according to Tietz, “The pair were essential in breaking opposing teams’ presses and getting their team into the offense.” The two also combined for 117 assists. 

Grombchevsky led the team in steals and Yang led the team in taking charges, again. Grombchevsky was named All-League Honorable Mention and won the team’s Offensive Player of the Year award. Yang won the team’s Best Team Spirit Award for her endless enthusiasm.

The team also had a strong bench. 

Sophomore Izzy Gray returned to basketball after several years away from the sport. She provided the team with energy off the bench and her versatility allowed her to play inside and out, hitting big 3-pointers and grabbing important rebounds. She also shared the honor of being named Best Teammate (along with Anna Cheng). 

Sophomore Elaina Seybold provided the team with a strong post presence and rebounds off the bench. 

Junior guard Brisa Campos supplied the team with energy and smothering defense and Freshman Alicia Mendoza had little experience but demonstrated unlimited athleticism. 

With all these returners coming back, you have to figure that Coach Tietz is counting the days until the beginning of next season.

Congrats, Breakers! Well deserved.

 

Shaena Stabler, President & CEO - Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

Tom Johnson, Publisher - Tom@StuNewsLaguna.com

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Suzie Harrison and Theresa Keegan are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

Email: Editor@StuNewsLaguna.com with news releases, letters, etc.

949.212.1499

Email: Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com for questions about advertising

949.315.0259

© 2022 Stu News Laguna - All Rights Reserved.