Los Angeles Preps: Chris Croom
March, 10, 2011
By Blair Angulo | ESPNLosAngeles.com
LONG BEACH -- Alexis Moore called it a preview of next season.
Long Beach Poly minus him.
It was just a sneak peek, though, as the top-seeded Jackrabbits survived without their senior leader, fending off a furious charge to beat Etiwanda, 66-63, before a packed gym at Long Beach City College. Poly advanced to the semifinals of the CIF Southern California Regional state playoffs and will play host to fourth-seeded Mater Dei on Saturday night.
Ninth-seeded Etiwanda used an 11-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter to climb back from a 14-point deficit. The Eagles trailed by five with just under two minutes remaining.
Then things got a bit fuzzy.
Moore nailed a clutch 3-pointer to put Poly up eight and celebrated emphatically as he backpedaled to the other end.
"I didn't say anything to the other players," Moore said. "I didn't say anything to the fans. It was just one of those in-the-moment things."
He raised his arms twice and looked over to Poly's supporters, but then a whistle blew.
"He tried to get the crowd involved," Poly coach Sharrief Metoyer explained. "I always thought taunting was player-to-player. He was excited, he had just made a big shot."
Play was stopped and Moore was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct technical. It was his fifth personal foul, so he had to watch the final minutes from the bench.
After a few moments of chaos, the USC-bound Moore grabbed his replacement, junior guard Chris Croom, and revved him up.
"I told him this was a preview for his senior year," Moore said. "Next year they're going to be looking on him to fill my role."