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High Schools | GIRLS' BASKETBALL COACH OF THE YEAR

Buggs Fueled Long Beach Poly's Rise to Top

April 07, 2002|Martin Henderson

Not that Long Beach Poly came out of nowhere, but the Jackrabbits were overachievers all season long.

They lost only two games--to No. 1 Lynwood and No. 2 Harbor City Narbonne--after winning their first 31. At 32-2, it wasn't perfect, but it was close enough to raise eyebrows as well as expectations for next season.

For turning Poly into a state power when it was little more than a regional top 10 team at the beginning of the season, Carl Buggs is The Times' girls' basketball coach of the year.

Buggs, in his third season, had a team without a player as tall as 6 feet. He utilized its quickness, calling for an aggressive defense that caused opponents fits and often led to easy baskets for Kameca Simmons, Cynthia Buggs and Aja Trotter.

There were other outstanding coaching efforts this season, including Ellis Barfield of Lynwood, who guided his team to an undefeated season, and Yas Oda, who led Cantwell Sacred Heart, seeded 16th in the section playoffs, to its first title by beating teams ranked Nos. 1, 4, 8 and 10 in Division IV-A.

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Martin Henderson

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