Los Angeles Preps: Jordan Bell

L.B. Poly stunned by Fresno Bullard

March, 13, 2012
Madness struck in Long Beach on Tuesday night.

Second-seeded Long Beach Poly fell to Fresno Bullard in a shocker at Cabrillo High School, eliminating the Jackrabbits from the Southern California Regionals Boys Division I playoffs.

Junior forward Jordan Bell blocked a potential tying shot, but the ball deflected out near mid court, where Bullard's Walter Orr scooped it and heaved a turnaround jumper that swished through the net to give the visitors the improbable win.

Bullard advanced to the title game to play top-seeded Mater Dei, the defending state champion, on Saturday at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario.

The winner will play for the state title in Sacramento the following weekend.

Click here for video of the dramatic shot.

L.B. Poly beats OLu a second time

March, 10, 2012
Roschon PrinceBlair 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."

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L.B. Poly outlasts Etiwanda again

February, 28, 2012

ANAHEIM -- Make it four straight playoff wins for Long Beach Poly over familiar foe Etiwanda.

Defending CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA boys' basketball champion Long Beach Poly advanced to the title game once again Tuesday night, earning a semifinal victory over third-seeded Etiwanda, 56-47, at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena. After experiencing recent success against the Inland Empire power, Poly coach Sharrief Metoyer used a proven blueprint: Size.

"Another dogfight with Etiwanda," Metoyer said. "I think it was everything that everybody thought it would be. We played tough. Our goal was to dominate the paint."

The second-seeded Jackrabbits (27-1) did exactly that, holding a 43-23 rebounding edge behind the interior play of juniors Roschon Prince and Jordan Bell. Prince had 22 points and 10 boards; Bell had nine points, 12 boards and seven blocks.

Prince, coming off a career-high 40 points in the quarterfinals, was nearly uncontainable on drives to the basket and made 14 of 19 free throws, including 11 of 14 in the fourth quarter. Bell, meanwhile, made his presence felt on defense. His monstrous block on Jordan McLaughlin with just under two minutes left changed the momentum. Etiwanda could have pulled to within two but, instead, the Jackrabbits got two points at the other end and pulled away.

"It's a nice luxury when you've got a guy who can get off the floor and block shots," Metoyer said.

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No. 2 Poly 67, No. 15 OLu 45

February, 4, 2012
SANTA ANA -- Long Beach Poly forward Jordan Bell was in the middle of explaining his team's victory. Defense was suffocating. Role players did their part.

Then Orange Lutheran star Gabe York walked by and Bell, in mid-sentence, extended his left arm and patted him on the chest.

"And we shut down Gabe York," he said, smiling.

Frankly, that was the key to second-ranked Long Beach Poly's lopsided 67-45 win against Orange Lutheran in the Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei. York, the region's premier guard and dynamic scorer, never found his lethal touch. Despite finishing with a team-high 23 points, the Arizona-bound York missed 14 of his 19 shots. He did his damage at the free-throw line and the Jackrabbits (21-1) could live with that.

"Our defense locked it down," said junior wing Roschon Prince, who had a game-high 25 points and nine rebounds. "We put pressure on Gabe."

Moore League leader Long Beach Poly won its 18th straight since losing to Loyola in the Pacific Shores Tournament final on Dec. 3. Last year the Jackrabbits won the CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA title, but were expected to drop off slightly following the loss of key players Ryan Anderson (Boston College) and Alexis Moore (USC) to graduation.

That hasn't been the case.

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Long Beach Poly wins in Seattle

January, 16, 2012
Long Beach Poly held on to beat Seattle's Rainier Beach, 64-58, in the King Holiday Hoopfest at the University of Washington on Monday night.

Junior wing Roschon Prince had a team-high 20 points. Junior forward Jordan Bell posted a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds, and altered many shots. Reuben Strickland was a solid third contributor for the Jackrabbits.

Poly led by as many as 16 in the first half but saw its lead dwindle down to four late. Rainier Beach is the state's top-ranked Division 3A team.

The Jackrabbits (13-1) resume Moore League play Wednesday night at Long Beach Wilson. Their only loss this season came against Loyola in the Pacific Shores Tournament title game on Dec. 3.

L.A. South: Boys' basketball Top 10

December, 6, 2011
Loyola, Long Beach Poly and La Verne Lutheran are ranked in the preseason POWERADE ESPNHS Fab 50 national rankings, and they lead the way in our opening edition of the south Los Angeles County boys' basketball top 10:

1. Loyola (4-0)
Key players: PG Parker Jackson-Cartwright, SG Justin Childress, SG Jacob Hazzard, SF Julian Harrell (Penn)
Last season: The Cubs went 25-6 and won the CIF-Southern Section Div. I-A championship before losing by two to eventual state champion Mater Dei in regionals.
Why they're here: Jackson-Cartwright, only a sophomore, is already considered the top point guard in the state. Mix in the shooting of Childress and Hazzard -- as well as the versatility of Harrell -- and the Cubs have a lineup that few can match.

2. Long Beach Poly (3-1)
Key players: SF Roschon Prince, PF Jordan Bell, PG Chris Croom, SG Reuben Strickland
Last season: The Jackrabbits posted a 30-2 record and captured the Division 1AA title in Anaheim before losing to eventual state champion Mater Dei in regionals.
Why they're here: Poly coach Sharrief Metoyer lost his top two to graduation -- state player of the year Ryan Anderson (Boston College) and Alexis Moore (USC) -- but there's more than enough talent left. Prince and Bell might be the best one-two combination in the county.

3. La Verne Lutheran (4-0)
Key players: PF Grant Jerrett (Arizona), SG Eric Cooper Jr. (Arizona), SF McKay Anderson, SG Cameron Osorno
Last season: The Trojans overcame off-the-court adversity, finishing with a 25-5 mark and a second consecutive state championship.
Why they're here: Jerrett, a long and lean power forward, is arguably the top prospect on the West Coast. Coach Eric Cooper Sr. returns nine letter-winners from last year's team, including son Eric Cooper Jr., a sharp-shooting junior who makes teams pay for double-teaming Jerrett down low.

4. St. John Bosco (4-0)
Key players: SG Isaac Hamilton, PF Anthony January (UTEP), SF Darryl Matthews, SG Daniel Hamilton
Last season: The Braves finished 21-9 and were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 4AA playoffs.
Why they're here: New coach Derrick Taylor, who built Woodland Hills Taft into a City Section power, has the Braves thinking about the Trinity League crown. Getting past defending state champion Mater Dei won't be easy, but Bosco has Isaac Hamilton, a transfer from Crenshaw who is one of the nation's top juniors.

5. Price (3-1)
Key players: PF Skylar Spencer (San Diego State), PG Chance Murray, SG Chris Sandifer
Last season: The high-flying Knights went 24-8 and fell just short against La Caņada in the CIF-SS Division 3AA championship game.
Why they're here: Yes, Price lost guard Askia Booker (Colorado) and ultra athletic forward Norvel Pelle to graduation but don't dismiss coach Michael Lynch's bunch. Spencer is another high-soaring scorer who's lethal in fast break opportunities, and Murray, a junior, already has a scholarship offer from UCLA.

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