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Orange Lutheran can't keep up with LB Poly
LONG BEACH - Long Beach Poly hangs its hat on its defense and it was proven again Saturday night.
The Jackrabbits harassed Orange Lutheran all night long with their on-the-ball defending and Jordan Bell altering shots in the middle, leading them to a 70-62 home victory over the Lancers (21-13) at Long Beach Jordan in a second-round game.
Long Beach Poly (29-2) will be host to Bullard of Fresno in the regional semifinals Tuesday night. Bullard defeated Taft of Woodland Hills, 70-63, in a second-round game.
“When we played them in the (Nike) Extravaganza in the second half, they really got into us and we couldn’t handle it,” Orange Lutheran coach Chris Nordstrom said. “We talked about that the last couple of days. It is hard to simulate, I don’t have players that can simulate that.
“I thought we did a pretty good job. We handled them for awhile."
Poly led Orange Lutheran by 15 entering the fourth quarter. The Lancers turned to Gabe York in the final quarter and he tried to bring them home.
York scored 15 points in the fourth. Later in the quarter, a Darien Williams basket cut the score to 65-59, but that was as close as they would get.
York finished with 28 points. Williams was next with 20. Payton Banks was held to just 2.
Roschon Prince led Poly with 29.
The Lancers were hurt down the stretch with the absence of second-leading scorer Banks, who fouled out in the second half.
“Not having that extra weapon in there hurt us,” Nordstrom said. “Gabe (York) got into the open floor and Darien (Williams) stepped up, as did Jared Carver and a lot of the guys.”
The game had a weird start as tip-off was delayed until 8:15 p.m. as school officials tried to get the overflow crowd settled in. The game was moved from Long Beach Poly to Long Beach Jordan to accommodate the expected large crowd.
Both sides of the bleachers were full, with fans standing along both end lines.
“Both teams had to deal with that,” Nordstrom said.
The teams met earlier this year at the Nike Extravaganza with the Jackrabbits winning 67-45.
Keeping the Jackrabbits off of the glass was a problem in that game as it was Saturday night.
“We knew that was going to be a problem,” Nordstrom said. “They’re tough. They’re so physical up front and it is hard to match up with them.”
The Jackrabbits took a strong hold of the game in the third quarter. They led, 29-26, starting the second half, but outscored the Lancers, 24-12, in the quarter to take a 53-38 lead into the fourth.