Los Angeles Preps: James Paleno

LA South: Long Beach Poly 77, Palisades 46

March, 8, 2011

LONG BEACH -- Ryan Anderson had such an advantage down low that he could have posted huge numbers. Instead, he settled for something better: rest.

Anderson sat for most of the second half and still finished with 17 points and nine rebounds Tuesday night, leading Long Beach Poly to an easy 77-46 victory against Palisades Charter at Ron Palmer Pavilion. The top-seeded Jackrabbits (30-1) advanced to the second round of the CIF State boys' basketball Division I playoffs. They will play Etiwanda on Thursday in a rematch of last week's CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA semifinals.

"It was good to be able to get guys rest," Poly coach Sharrief Metoyer said. "The schedule is grueling this week if you're able to make it to Saturday. It was good to get our starters off their feet in the fourth quarter."

In reality, the game had been over for a while. Poly blitzed No. 16-seeded Palisades (18-14) and led 44-21 at halftime behind 15 points from Anderson. The remaining 16 minutes of play were a mere formality.

Anderson added a bucket in the third quarter and took his seat for good with more than 10 minutes remaining. Roschon Prince had 17 points and Chris Camper had 15 for the Jackrabbits. Palisades wing Ilya Ilyayev led all scorers with 20.

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Long Beach Poly already accomplished Goal 1A, winning the CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA boys' basketball championship last week. Now the Jackrabbits set their sights on Goal 1B: a state title.

Star forward Ryan Anderson was the only one jumping for joy after Poly (29-1) claimed the sectional crown against Centennial at Anaheim Arena last Saturday. That was by design. Most of his teammates held off on the dance moves -- and won't do so until the Jackrabbits win state.

The journey to Sacramento begins Tuesday night at 7 p.m. when top-seeded Poly hosts Palisades (18-13) in the first round of the CIF State basketball championships.

Five keys to the game:

1. Palisades might want to avoid a slow start, which doomed them against Woodland Hills Taft in the CIF-City Section semifinals. Poly, meanwhile, jumped all over fast-paced Centennial and never let up, coasting to an uneventful championship win. Don't be surprised if Palisades coach James Paleno burns a few timeouts early to put an end to runs.

2. Yeah, the ultimate prize awaits in Sacramento, but Poly must maintain focus and not get ahead of itself. Championships aren't won in one night. Seniors Alexis Moore and Alex Carmon have fallen short before, so they know that. Anderson doesn't think focus will be a problem. "There's been a target on our back all season," he said. "We'll get everyone's best shot."

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