Long Beach Poly junior Lily Buggs knew that the Jackrabbits girls’ basketball team was going up against one of the top scorers in the area on Monday night. Her team was welcoming Lakewood and reigning Moore League Player of the Year Asia Jordan, who has been electric this season. Buggs got the call to guard Jordan to start the game, and nobody would have blamed her if she’d been content to turn in a solid defensive performance and leave the scoring up to her teammates. Instead, Buggs turned in a signature performance, scoring 24 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in three quarters while holding Jordan to 12 points. The Jackrabbits turned in an impressive complete game performance to defeat Lakewood 71-31 and remain undefeated in league play.
“I knew we had to be aggressive against Asia,” said Buggs. “Offensively and defensively I wanted to make her work. I was pretty happy with how I defended her but I could do better. My coaches expect me to play like that on both ends of the court.”
Buggs was balling in the absence of Kalaya Buggs (no relation), a standout player for Poly who sprained her ankle at practice over the weekend.
Lakewood hung tough for the first half of the first quarter, as the game was tied 6-6 with 3:42 remaining in the first frame. Poly closed on a 15-2 run with six points from Fullerton signee Ashlee Lewis as well as a few baskets from Buggs, who really began to take over in the second quarter, where Poly outscored Lakewood 18-10, with Jordan putting in just two field goals before the break.
Lakewood coach Eric Oswell was frustrated his team couldn’t do more to get Jordan better looks.
“They brought the double every time, we have to get more creative about finding other ways to get the ball to her,” he said. “I’m satisfied with where we are right now but we have to get better at team rebounding.”
Jordan got two of her field goals on put-backs, but for the most part Poly dominated the board, with Buggs and Lewis both finishing in double digit rebounds.
Poly (15-2, 4-0) will visit Wilson on Wednesday while Lakewood (10-7, 3-1) will visit Millikan.