L.B. Poly beats OLu a second time
March, 10, 2012
By Blair Angulo | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Blair Angulo for ESPNLA.comRoschon Price scored a game-high 29 points as Long Beach Poly knocked off Orange Lutheran.
LONG BEACH -- Roschon Prince knew beating Orange Lutheran and star Gabe York wouldn’t be as easy the second time around, so he planted his feet.
The versatile Prince was a force in the paint, leading Long Beach Poly to a 70-62 victory Saturday night at Jordan High School. The Jackrabbits advanced to the Southern California Regionals Division I semifinals, where they'll meet Fresno Bullard on Tuesday. Prince had a game-high 29 points without any makes from beyond the arc. He mostly played with his back to the basket.
"It's always the game plan to dominate the paint," the junior forward said. "I saw something and wanted to focus on being on the block and scoring easy."
Fellow junior Jordan Bell did the dirty work, grabbing 15 rebounds and blocking six shots to go along with eight points. Reuben Strickland added 10 points for second-seeded Long Beach Poly (28-2).
York, the sharpshooting Arizona signee, had 27 for Orange Lutheran (22-11). OLu had a disappointing regular season before capturing the Southern Section Division 1A title. At one point the Lancers lost eight of 10 games and finished third in the Trinity League. Their troubles were on full display against Poly at the Mater Dei Nike Extravaganza on Feb. 4 -- a game the Jackrabbits easily won by 22.
"It's the state payoffs and teams are better," Poly coach Sharrief Metoyer said. "They're champions. I knew this game wasn't going to be easy."
York had trouble with Poly’s active defense last time. The guard finished with 23 points but never found his lethal touch from the perimeter, missing 14 of 19 shots.
"We didn't want to take them lightly just because we beat them by so much at the Extravaganza," Prince said. "We wanted to come out hungry, fight hard and put our will on them early so it wouldn't be a hard game."
Junior forward Darien Williams scored 20 points for the Lancers but Payton Banks, the team's second-leading scorer, was a non-factor. He was whistled for his fourth foul two minutes into the second half and didn’t return until the fourth quarter. Banks fouled out with three minutes and 57 seconds left, finishing with only two points.
The game tipped off 45 minutes late as Poly school officials dealt with an overcrowded gym. A hoard of fans were turned away at the gate. Afterward, York walked off the crowded scene teary-eyed, with his jersey stretched over his head.
"We threw guys at him," Metoyer said.
Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.