Accompanying photos can be found on my photostream page.
10:15 a.m.: Washington Prep vs. View Park
The Generals made a valiant effort, but they were no match for the quick-moving Knights. Prep has Reshanda “Too Tall” Gray, but they lost a key starter to graduation last spring, and several players are new. View Park team members, on the other hand, have been together for years.
View Park is lead by senior point guard Danielle Pruitt, who at 5-foot-9 is not at all afraid to block someone’s shot. But don’t count Prep out yet. People have been doing it for two years, and they’ve been proven wrong each time. February is a long way away.
Final: View Park 60, Washington Prep 38
10:15 a.m.: Long Beach Jordan vs. Inglewood
Inglewood lost several key players to graduation last year, but they’ve reloaded with a stable full of fast young players. Lead by San Diego State signee Deajanae Scurry, who was having a “block party,” the Sentinels dominated Jordan in every way.
Final: Inglewood 42, Long Beach Jordan 22
(Yes, I watched both games)
12:45 p.m.: Long Beach Poly vs. Mater Dei – the rematch
Poly got their revenge today from last year’s game – a contest that was eerily similar to the 2009 version.
Mater Dei, who still look more like a college team (size) than a high school squad, predictably came out blazing. To begin with, Alexyz Vaioletama was back from sitting out the last year injured. So the big three – Vaioletama, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Jordan Adams – were back and in full effect. The Monarchs won the tip and Adams went tearing down the court before anyone on either side could come with her. That set the tone for the game.
And for a while, Mater Dei was wiping the floor with Poly. It began in the first half when they were tied at 15, and Poly Coach Carl Buggs put in reserves and left them there too long. The Monarchs grabbed the lead and ran with it, literally. They were flying over the heads of the Jackrabbits, putting up shots, pulling down boards and driving to the basket. Poly, on the other hand, couldn’t hit anything and they let Mosqueda-Lewis get hot and failed to defend her well, so she got off several three-pointers. They lead 42-27 at halftime.
But in the second half, Poly clawed back and started chipping away at the lead. They started making more shots, but it was their defensive clamp down that really put the brakes on Mater Dei. The Jackrabbits went ahead at the 5:27 mark on a two-point shot, and they never trailed again. A bucket from deep in the right corner by Tajanae Winston put Poly ahead 60-52 with about three minutes to go, and that seemed to deflate the Monarchs.
The Jordan Adams-Ariya Crook-Williams point guard battle was fun again, but I’d say Crook-Williams won out this year because she got hot in her shooting for a little bit, as she is wont to do sometimes.
These two teams probably won’t meet again this season, so today was a treat. And the large crowd loved every minute.
Final score: Long Beach Poly 68, Mater Dei 53