After a rocky start to Moore League play, the Poly boys’ basketball team put together the type of game they’d to during an 82-59 win against Millikan.
The Jackrabbits (11-6, 3-1) played in-your-face defense that led to turnovers and easy buckets for Poly’s speedy guards.
Junior Justin Rene led the charge for Poly has he was a problem on both ends of the floor as he was a disruptor on defense and efficient on offense scoring a game-high 23 points.
“It’s been a struggle lately,” Rene said. “We haven’t been hitting shots and missing free throws. We just got to keep up this energy we have, this Poly energy, this Poly pride.”
After the first quarter Poly led 22-14, but broke the game open as it held Millikan (5-12, 0-4) to only four points in the second quarter to take a 38-20 lead at halftime.
For Millikan, it’s been a frustrating week for the Rams after they lost by a buzzer-beater against Lakewood and battled back against Wilson earlier in the week.
“Our main thing right now is listening to our coach and doing what he wants us to do,” Millikan’s Julian Smith said. “We know we’re a good team, but we’re really young and we’ve been in games. We’re right there, it’s just bringing the pieces together.”
Heading into the fourth quarter Poly took a 61-37 lead and eventually had a 30-point lead before subbing out its starters.
It was a welcome result for Poly coach Shelton Diggs after seeing his team begin to play they want to while knowing all the Moore League teams will be trying to take them down.
“We just have to come out and defend,” Diggs said. “Our main focus starting out on defense — we defend. We know we’re going to score on the offensive end, but we need to defend.”
Before the boys’ game, Poly’s girls’ basketball team took care of business as they defeated Millikan 67-47.
It was a tight game as the Jackrabbits (8-7, 3-0) were tested early and often by a gritty Rams team that was led by senior forward Skylar Whiteto.
Millikan (7-5, 3-1) took an early 17-6 lead after the first quarter. The Rams eventually took a 28-23 lead forcing the Jackrabbits to take a timeout in the second quarter.
After the timeout, Poly went on a 7-0 run to take a 30-28 lead into halftime.
“We started paying attention to details as we went more into the game,” Poly coach Carl Buggs said. “Our kids stepped up.”
Poly pulled away in the fourth quarter as they went on a nice run as Millikan — who was playing with a small rotation — appeared to struggle on the offensive end.
“We’ll be ready the next time,” Millikan coach Lorene Morgan said.