Long Beach Poly's Alexis Moore, shown during a game in January, had… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)
Before Saturday night's Southern Section Division 1AA championship game, Long Beach Poly senior forward Ryan Anderson wanted to see 20-20. By game's end, he and his teammates had their sights set on a state title.
Anderson finished with 18 points and 21 rebounds, and Alexis Moore added 16 points, three assists and three steals in the Jackrabbits' wire-to-wire 68-52 victory over Corona Centennial at the Anaheim Convention Center. Poly (29-1) led by as many as 23 points, and four players reached double digits in scoring.
"One of our assistant coaches [A.J. Diggs] said he wanted me to go for 20 and 20 tonight, and that put me in the mind-set I needed," said Anderson, who had five more rebounds than the entire Centennial team. "I wasn't as concerned about the points. I mainly wanted to get 20 rebounds."
The top-seeded Jackrabbits scored the first eight points and never looked back, repeatedly beating Centennial's vaunted pressure defense for transition baskets.
"We got off to a great start, and I don't think they ever recovered from it," Poly Coach Sharrief Metoyer said. "We almost executed our game plan to a T."
Michael Caffey had 17 points, and Gelaun Wheelwright added 13 for the third-seeded Huskies (27-4), who trailed 38-22 at halftime.
"With our [lack of] size, we tried to take away the inside, but that left them open looks, and they went six of 12 from the three-point line," Centennial Coach Josh Giles said. "You have to give them credit for hitting those shots."
The win was especially meaningful for seniors Alex Carmon and Chris Camper. Carmon's father, Troy, was a member of Poly's 1981 CIF championship team, and Camper's father, Vincent, won CIF and state titles at Poly in 1984.