Corona del Mar High School forward Jeff Fryer scored 28 points Saturday night to lift the undefeated Sea Kings over Laguna Beach, 65-49, in the championship game of the 16th Laguna Beach tournament.
Fryer, a 6-foot 2 1/2-inch senior, continued to account for the majority of Corona del Mar's offense. He had scored 21, 46 and 32 in the Sea Kings' first three games of the tournament. His 31.7 average and Corona del Mar's victory Saturday night earned him tournament most valuable player honors.
But what may have won the title game for the Sea Kings (4-0) was the way Fryer's teammates played. Through their first three wins, the Sea Kings' offense was all Fryer. Coach Jack Errion's other starters weren't producing much. Not so against Laguna Beach (3-1).
When Fryer started out cold, guard Tod Bearbower picked up the slack. While Fryer was going 2 for 5 from the field in the first quarter, Bearbower was hitting 4 of 5 shots from deep in the corner. That forced Laguna Beach coach Ed Bowen to make a defensive change.
"We tried to play man-to-man and double up on Fryer every time he got the ball," Brown said. "We left (Bearbower) alone and he started hitting. We had to get out of that defense. From then on, we played straight man-to-man."
Bearbower finished with 16 points and 7 assists. His first-quarter shooting enabled the Sea Kings to jump out to a 21-10 lead, which they never relinquished.
He wasn't the only other Corona del Mar starter to enjoy a good game. Center Tim Christiansen, who injured his back Friday night, pulled down 10 rebounds and forward Sean Turner grabbed 5 rebounds. Bearbower and Turner joined Fryer on the all-tournament team.
"It's nice to see somebody do a job like that," Errion said. "Tod's shooting really helped, and Turner and Christiansen were really battling on the boards. They did that the whole tournament."
Errion wouldn't go so far as predicting any championships, though. "It's early. We have to improve as a team. I'm happy with the effort, but we've got a lot of improving to do. I didn't say we're not very good, it's just that if we stay at this level, people will pass us. We have to get better."
Laguna Beach struggled against the Sea Kings' tough man-to-man defense. The Artists had looked good Friday night against Tustin's zone, but against Corona del Mar they looked confused and had a hard time getting good shots.
The one player who managed to find his shots was center Coby Naess. He got hot in the second half and finished with 25 points.
Tustin captured third place with a 71-64 win over Long Beach Jordan, while San Clemente took fifth place by edging El Camino, 56-55, in overtime. Los Alamitos won the consolation championship with a 62-58 win over Troy.
CORONA DEL MAR (65)--Fryer 28, Turner 4, Christiansen 4, Bearbower 16, Green 8, McGrath 2, O'Neil 2, Hook 1.
LAGUNA BEACH (49)--Naess 25, Fortune 1, Spath 6, Elfsten 4, Herdman 10, Englander 2, Devine 1.