Darryl Polk
Long Beach Poly St. Anthony

Long Beach Poly, St. Anthony Basketball Make State Bracket

There was little suspense on Sunday for the Long Beach Poly and St. Anthony boys’ basketball teams—both the Jackrabbits and Saints had already clinched spots in the CIF State bracket despite disappointing semifinal losses in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

The Jackrabbits earned the No. 9 seed in the Division 1 bracket, and will travel to No. 8 El Camino Real on Wednesday at 7 p.m. for a first-round game. If the Jackrabbits advance they’d face St. John Bosco in the SoCal quarterfinals on Saturday.

After a week of practice, Poly coach Shelton Diggs was excited for his team to get back on the court this week.

“It’s state now, it’s win or go home,” said Diggs.

Poly (22-8, 11-1) has had another successful season under Diggs, winning a Moore League title and making the CIF-SS semifinals. But the Jackrabbits will have their hands full against a Conquistadors (20-14) team that just won the LA City Section Open Division consolation championship.

St. Anthony earned the No. 5 seed in the Division 3 bracket and will get a home game Wednesday, hosting No. 12 Buena. The Saints will be the favorites in that game and would visit Knight on Saturday with a win.

St. Anthony (27-3) is having one of its best seasons ever under head coach Allen Caveness, but the coach is still smarting after a disappointing semifinal upset from the CIF-SS Division 3AA bracket that the Saints were favored to win.

“We’re excited for the opportunity and looking forward to Wednesday night,” said Caveness.

Brea (23-5) made the semifinals of the 3A bracket where Bishop Amat defeated them by a single point.

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.