Entering Orange Coast League competition with its best start in 78 years, Laguna Beach coach Bret Fleming has an experienced corp of starters and a healthy 14-3 record.
Fleming also has a healthy Cheyne Martin, a 6 foot 1 senior point guard who is averaging 30 points thus far after recovering from a junior season hampered by a lingering virus.
The Breakers have good size in returning starters, 6-3 senior Brian Delino, averaging 10 points, 6-4 sophomore Ryan Lawler, and 6-4 Bob Monroe, both averaging nine points.
Laguna Beach has already exceeded last seasons victory total after notching an 11-game win streak that included the Orange Coast Optimist Tournament championship where Martin was named MVP. The Breakers went 8-18 last year as a member of the Pacific League.
"We've been consistent defensively and get stops when necessary," said Fleming.
Martin was out with a broken finger when the Breakers win streak ended in a 70-63 loss to Huntington Beach. Their other losses were to Ocean View and St John Bosco. Good wins came over Lawndale and Riverside Poly, with the most notable a 68-61 comeback win against Torrance for the Optimist Tournament title after trailing 43-33 at the half.
Martin scored 36 against Torrance and Monroe had nine. Lawler, Delino, and junior Marcus Hairston tallied seven each. Martin poured in 47 points in a 74-64 win against Cypress on Dec. 14.
While Martin is definitely the Breakers go-to guy, both Lawler and Delino have exceeded better than 20 points in numerous games. Monroe can rebound and is usually good for eight or nine points. Hairston is a first-year starter also capable of big numbers. "Hairston is strong on the ball defensively," said Fleming.
"When teams go box and one with Cheyne, we've had others step up offensively," added Fleming.
Martin started for the Breakers as freshman then transferred to Santa Margarita, where he was the starting guard on the Eagles CIF-championship team of 2005. He came back to Laguna Beach mid-term last year.
Fleming has a potential interesting scenario with senior's Ian Butters and Nathan Pickett both coming off the bench after being part-time starters last season.
Pickett is a presence at 6-4, 215, and if he and Butters start producing more, the post season could be bright.
"They both are playing. Pickett is our big guy off the bench," said Fleming. Pickett is a standout baseball player who pitch next year on scholarship at Cal State Los Angeles.
Fleming feels that Costa Mesa and Calvary Chapel/Santa Ana will present
obstacles for the Breakers bid to win the Orange Coast League