Basketball Long Beach Poly

PREVIEW: Long Beach Poly at Windward, CIF State Basketball

The Long Beach Poly girls’ basketball team travels to Los Angeles on Saturday evening for a 5:30 p.m. CIF State Open Division clash with Windward, with a trip to the SoCal Regional championship on Tuesday on the line. The Jackrabbits have faced Windward twice this season and come up short both times, losing 58-51 earlier this year and 52-41 two weeks ago in the CIF-SS Open Division semifinals.

Tonight, Poly will hope to use their experience and the confidence they have after knocking off CIF-SS Open Division champion Mater Dei off to reverse those results.

“We know what we need to do, we just need to execute,” said Poly coach Carl Buggs.

This year’s Jackrabbits team was at its best in the road win over the Monarchs on Wednesday, with almost the entire team scoring between eight and 12 points in a true team effort. That’s emblematic of the Jackrabbits’ season, which has seen only one player average double-digit scoring: junior Lily Buggs, who made an impressive return to the roster this year after missing last season with a torn ACL.

“It was really hard having to sit and watch last year, knowing that I could have helped my team,” said Buggs, who is of no relation to the Poly coach.

Lily Buggs will be a big part of the Jackrabbits’ gameplan Saturday, because it’s so important that they keep Windward off the offensive glass. Buggs is the team’s leading rebounder at 8.6 rebounds per game, alongside with Cal State Fullerton signee Ashlee Lewis, the team’s center, who averages 8.2 per game.

We’ll have live updates from the game as well as a story and video after.

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.