SANTA ANA, Calif. --
Two factors came together to limit St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
to its second-lowest scoring total of the season Saturday night at the Nike Extravaganza.
Most glaring was the absence of leading scorer Isaac Hamilton
, who sat out the contest due to a coach's decision. But just as instrumental, and perhaps paramount, was the defense from Long Beach Poly (Calif.)
The Jackrabbits did not have a great offensive night, but they forced Bosco into 12 turnovers, and that was the difference as they won 60-54 at the Nike Extravaganza held on Mater Dei's home court.
"Poly is the best defensive team we've seen all year. We were a little choppy on offense because they're so tough defensively," said Bosco coach Derrick Taylor. "Historically what they do is play solid man defense. Everything you get
you are gonna earn. They contest everything and bump all your cuts."
The Jackrabbits (22-2), ranked No. 10 in the most recent Xcellent 25 National Basketball Rankings, showed a remarkable ability to fend off every rally Bosco (17-6) could muster. The only lead the Braves held was 2-0, and they tied the game at 2, 7 and 23. But they also got within one point on nine different occasions - and each time Poly held firm.
"I think in the preseason
games, it has shown us we have the ability to not panic. Some teams try to do it all in one possession. We don't play
like that. We play possession by possession," said Poly coach Sharrief Metoyer. "They got close, then we would get a stop, then
we get a foul and a guy makes two free throws."Roschon Prince
was Poly's top performer. The USC commit led his team with 19 points and nine rebounds, and that included an off-the-backboard pass from Jordan Bell
. Bell was also solid, with 15 points and nine rebounds of his own.
The Jackrabbits also got 14 points (including three 3-pointers) from Kameron Murrell
. Overall, though, they only shot 36 percent, just a fraction worse than Bosco's 36.5 percent.View the Qwixcore game log
With both teams pretty much even in the field goal percentage department, and Bosco dominating the boards 37-27, the difference had to be turnovers. Poly only committed six.Tyler Dorsey
stepped up in Hamilton's absence, leading the Braves with 24 points on 8-for-17 shooting. The super sophomore, who came into the game second in scoring on the team, said he had to take on more of the offensive responsibility.
"I had to do more things on the court, take more of what Isaac did. People stepped up their game but it was a tough one," said Dorsey, who added a game-high 12 rebounds. "I thought we were gonna get over the hump. It was a tough loss. They're so athletic on defense."
A 23-21 Poly lead at halftime stretched to 40-33 with a Murrell 3-pointer and a 40-36 lead after three quarters got down to 40-39 to 48-32. A 3-pointer from
made it 56-51 with 1:17 left but the Braves, ranked 32nd nationally in the Freeman Rankings, didn't have a rally left in them.
Daniel Hamilton had a brutal shooting night, finishing 4-for-19 with nine points, though he added 10 rebounds.
See photos from the game
The night ended up belonging to Poly, though, in perhaps the most-hyped game of the Nike Extravaganza.
"In the Moore League a lot of people are undersized and they play zone.
It's local talent. When we play a lot of these nationally ranked games
you get to see people you probably wouldn't play in the regular season," said Prince. "With their star out, we knew that the other two stars would
shoot more shots. We came out effective."Etiwanda (Calif.) 51, Loyola (Los Angeles) 24
The Eagles put an absolute whooping on the Cubs, and maybe Friday night had a lot to do with the Saturday result.
While Etiwanda (21-1) had an easy 67-22 triumph over Alta Loma, the Cubs (18-6) had to fight for a 53-46 triumph over Crespi (Encino, Calif.) in the Mission League.
It was close after the first quarter, with Etiwanda leading 13-11, then things just got out of control. Etiwanda posted point totals of 13, 15 and 10 the rest of the way while Loyola earned 5, 3 and 5.
They sensed Loyola was wobbling, and the Eagles pounced on the opportunity to turn the game into a blowout. Chalk it up to a lesson learned last weekend against La Costa Canyon, a returning state final qualifier.
"We had an experience last Saturday where we held La Costa Canyon to 16 points in the first half. And in the second half our kids let up," coach Dave Kleckner said, referring to a 56-51 triumph. "I
think we learned from that. They understand now
that they can't do those things and expect to accomplish their goals."See photos from the game
Etiwanda forced Loyola into 18 turnovers and generally suffocated the Cubs, holding them to 27 percent shooting. They also swiped 13 steals. Offensively, there wasn't a particular star, as only one Eagles player scored in double figures (Jordan McLaughlin
with 11) and the team had nine players score.
Loyola got seven points from Trey Mason
to lead the way. Big 7-foot center Thomas Welsh
grabbed eight rebounds to go with six points.
"Sometimes you're the hammer and sometimes you're the nail. We were the nail tonight. We really struggled against their pressure," Loyola coach Jamal Adams said. "They attacked our weaknesses and unfortunately we looked as bad as we've looked in a long time. We played about as bad as we could play. They aren't gonna let you beat them off dribble penetration."
Loyola has fought injuries this season, as Parker Jackson-cartwright
and Khalil Bedart-ghani
missed the game. Jackson-Cartwright was finally cleared by doctors to play after about a month off but did not play Saturday.Tim Myles
was spectacular for Etiwanda, skying high all night and playing hard for loose balls and rebounds. He tallied six points and 11 rebounds.
"We are always going out here trying to play Etiwanda defense," he said. "At halftime coach told us we were only up by 10. Last week were up by 15 and they came back an fought us to the wire where we had to fight. Coach told us to step on their throats, keep pusihing. We just turned up the gas."Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 63,
Westchester (Los Angeles) 60
The Monarchs earned a hard-fought victory over the Comets in the finale. Click here
to read a game story on how it went down.