After a tight first half, the Long Beach Poly boys’ basketball team got big production from star player Peyton Watson to help the Jackrabbits pull away from Lakewood. After leading by just seven points at halftime, Poly went on to retain its hold on first place in the Moore League with an 87-68 victory over the Lancers.
“We started slow, I knew we’d pick it up,” said Poly coach Shelton Diggs.
Watson poured in 31 points to lead all scorers, but Poly got solid contributions from two of its other key players as Christian Watson had 14 points and post player Solomon Jones had 16 points.
“That’s what the Moore League is for, we need other guys to step up and get some confidence in what they can do,” said Diggs. “Peyton is Peyton, he’s going to do what he does, so we need the other guys to come up too.”
Lakewood’s offense relies on speedy, sharp-shooting guards, and they went into Poly’s gym and played fearlessly on Monday, even if they were ultimately overmatched. Bonard Johnson and Tramaine Lee each had 15 points, while Chris Willis had 10.
Poly’s seven point lead quickly ballooned in the third quarter as Watson poured in 10 points, including a sequence that effectively ended the game late in the period where he hit a deep 3-pointer and then back-to-back dunks to push Poly’s lead to 25 points.
The Jackrabbits (8-9, 4-0) will visit Wilson on Wednesday and then host Millikan on Friday. Lakewood (8-9, 2-2) will face Millikan on Wednesday.