High-SchoolCalifornia: Loyola

Poly, Mater Dei to meet in section showdown

February, 29, 2012
2/29/12
1:09
AM ET
Mater Dei, Long Beach Poly, Loyola, Etiwanda, CIFAndrew Drennen/ESPNHSThe CIFSS-Div IAA semi-finals came down to the wire in both games. In the end it will be a Mater Dei and Long Beach Poly final on Saturday.
Mater Dei and Long Beach Poly will meet in highly-anticipated CIF Southern Section Division I-AA final in a match up of state's two top-ranked teams.

Anaheim, Calif. -- The boys basketball team at Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.) steadily climbed in the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings by utilizing the most steady aspect of the game -- a vice grip man-to-man defense.

Despite not starting a player taller than 6-foot-4, the No. 32 Eagles rolled into their CIF Southern Section semifinal showdown with No. 17 Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) riding a 26-game winning streak behind consistent defensive efforts. Facing California's No. 2-ranked team, Etiwanda ran into a bigger, more athletic unit that played a great brand of defense of its own.

Poly used that size advantage, some timely free throw shooting and two big blocks down the stretch to record a 56-47 victory and hand Etiwanda its second loss of the season.

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