Long Beach Poly girls’ basketball coach Carl Buggs said he expected this to be the most competitive Moore League girls season in more than a decade. It’s obvious the Jackrabbits are still developing their depth, but Poly was more than good enough to take care of Millikan in their first league test of the season, winning 75-40 on the road.
“We shot the ball really well in the first half, and that set the tone for the game,” said Buggs. Simone Morris and Nala Williams both hit a trio of triples to give the Jackrabbits a nice-sized cushion, up 26-6 after the first quarter and 39-14 at halftime.
The Jackrabbits are relying on four experienced players on varsity in Morris, Williams, Lily Buggs, and Kalaya Buggs. Lily Buggs has clearly stepped into the role of volume scorer for the ‘Rabbits, putting up 30 points earlier this week in a win over Downey and scoring a game-high 20 points against the Rams.
“That’s huge because we don’t have the depth from a scoring standpoint, so we need that,” said coach Buggs. “It’s not so much even calling plays for her, she just goes and gets the ball.”
Lily Buggs had nine rebounds to go with her 20 points in the victory, and said she’s getting used to her role as a primary scorer.
“It’s never been something that I’ve wanted or that I’ve been is to be the scorer,” she said. “But no matter what team I’ve been on, I’ve always done whatever the coach needed me to do, if that’s rebounding or playing defense or anything. So I can step up and do this, too.”
The Rams were led by 12 points from Kylie Ishibashi. After Buggs, Poly was led by Morris (16 points) and Williams (14 points).
The result sees Poly stay undefeated in league and Millikan pick up its first loss. That sets up a critical week next week, with Millikan facing undefeated Wilson on Wednesday and then the Jackrabbits hosting the Bruins on Friday.
Wilson def. Leuzinger
The Bruins got an easy win over Leuzinger 75-49 to stay perfect on the season. Wilson was led by Ashley Hawkins and Arielle Hines (18 points each) and Sydney Ross (16 points).