It was a wild night in the Moore League with fans eagerly checking their phones to update a pair of overtime boys basketball games. The results shook up the top of the league standings, with four of the league’s seven teams currently tied for first place.
POLY 74, WILSON 70 (OT) >> A battle between the league’s two most highly-ranked teams and the city’s oldest schools also injected new life into a league that hasn’t seen much parity during the last eight years, as Poly rattled off eight consecutive league titles.
After dropping an overtime contest with Lakewood on Monday, Poly found itself on the brink of doing the same Wednesday at Wilson, before battling back in the extra period to hold on for the win.
“Everyone is coming for us,” said Poly coach Shelton Diggs. “Every game is going to be a championship because everyone feels they can beat us.”
Wilson had plenty of reason to think that coming into the game, boasting the league’s best overall record and its best big man in Matt Schmidt. But Poly led by six points after three quarters and 60-51 with just three minutes remaining. Poly led 62-56 with less than a minute but split four free-throws down the stretch. Meanwhile Jayden Woodard found his stroke and drained a 3-pointer, and then another as time expired to tie the game and send it to overtime.
“Down the stretch, fighting back to get to overtime, I thought we played really well,” said Wilson coach James Boykin.
Darryl Polk boosted Poly in the fourth quarter and overtime, scoring 21 of his game-high 30 points in the final 10 minutes of the game, including the game-tying points in overtime and a layup to put Poly up four with less than 10 seconds left.
The crowd was large and loud for the entire game, something Poly’s backcourt said they appreciated.
“We wanted to get past the Lakewood game,” said Polk. “This was really good for us—we feed off the crowd.”
“It felt a little like a CIF game,” said Jesse Galloway, who had 14 points for Poly. Giordan Williams chipped in timely shooting with 19 points and added 13 rebounds.
Schmidt had 19 points for Wilson, after scoring just six in the first half.
LAKEWOOD 76, MILLIKAN 74 (OT) >> The game had two lead changes in the last ten seconds, as Millikan took a 74-73 lead at the free-throw line with six seconds, only to see Lakewood get the ball downcourt and sink a desperation buzzer-beater to give the Lancers the win and a share of first place.
Poly, Wilson, and Lakewood are all tied atop the league standings with one loss apiece. Jordan is there along with them after the Panthers’ home game against Compton had to be rescheduled. During the girls game prior to the boys game, a piece of the roof of the Jordan gym fell onto the court, along with water that had built up overhead, forcing the cancellation of the rest of the evening’s action.
Millikan will visit Poly on Friday while Wilson visit Cabrillo and Jordan visits Lakewood.