Long Beach Poly might have forfeited 22 victories, but it didn't forfeit its pride, and on Saturday at the Sports Arena in the Southern California Regional Division I final, the Jackrabbits made good on the Moore League's graciousness.
Poly's inspired, unselfish performance beat Southland rival and three-time state champion Lynwood, 63-44. The Jackrabbits (10-25) will play Saturday in Sacramento against North Coast Section runner-up Berkeley (21-11) in their first state final.
By virtue of a 4-3 vote by Moore League representatives, Poly received the last of four automatic qualifying berths. It beat four league champions to reach last week's Southern Section Division I-AA final, a 52-44 loss to Lynwood (27-5).
Junior point guard Jameia McDuffie, playing additional minutes because ineligible player April Cook is no longer with the team, scored 18 points, making all 10 of her free throws.