The Long Beach Poly boys’ basketball team is off to a historically dominant start, as the Jackrabbits are 4-0 after games against Compton, Jordan, Cabrillo, and Millikan, which Poly has won by a combined score of 321-125 (that’s an average of 80-31).
The Jackrabbits’ most recent victory was Friday night at Millikan, where a defensive-minded Poly team defeated the host Rams 64-15.
“Defensively I thought we played well,” said Poly coach Shelton Diggs. “Any time you hold a team to 15 points, I don’t care how good they are. That means you’re working hard on defense, you’re making it tough on the other team, and you’re staying focused the whole game.”
After opening up with a 26-point win over Compton, Poly has beaten its last three opponents by 71, 50, and 49 points, margins of victory once impossible to imagine in the competitive Moore League.
“Yeah, we’re just trying to work on little things and focus on those details,” said Diggs. “It is what it is but we have to get better and get ready for the playoffs.”
Poly star Peyton Watson has left his fingerprints all over all four games, with a pair of 30-point performances and several highlight-worthy dunks. Friday against Millikan he had two blocks and 12 points, while his younger brother Christian Watson led the way with 14 points. Millikan’s Eric Bonales led the Rams with five points.
Poly will face Lakewood on Wednesday and Wilson on Friday next week.
Wilson def. Cabrillo
In the Moore League standings below Poly, the hierarchy is beginning to take shape. Compton looks like the top challenger, followed by Lakewood, who have been sparked by the excellent play of Jalen Shores. Wilson and Cabrillo played on Wednesday in a game that was ostensibly for fourth place in the first round of league play, with the Bruins prevailing 79-64.
The loss put a damper on what has been Cabrillo’s best start in several years, as they opened Moore League play 2-0 with victories over Jordan and Millikan before losses to Poly and Wilson.
Wilson coach James Boykin said his team has taken some time to gel, in large part because he has so many multi-sport athletes.
“This is like the second time I’ve had my core guys together,” said Boykin. Dallas Cooper played on the Wilson football team and Nico Colchico is a star distance runner at the school on both the cross country and track teams. “Now that we’re getting reps you can see it taking shape a little.”
The Bruins’ spark plug is Cooper, who put up 30 points in the win over the Jaguars. Cooper will need to be a high-volume scorer for the Bruins to be successful this year, but he said he’s comfortable in that role.
“I mean, I like to get buckets,” he said. “I’ve been doing it my whole life, so I’m cool with it.”