By Miguel A. Melendez
LONG BEACH — Who knew they didn’t stand a chance?
Pasadena High School’s boys basketball team turned the ball over numerous times in the first quarter. Then it shot itself in the foot in the second.
Long Beach Poly’s stingy defense blanked the Bulldogs in the first quarter, leading the Jackrabbits to a 51-43 win Friday night in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division II-A playoffs.
Pasadena (22-6) appeared dazed and confused in the first quarter and its offense never got into rhythm despite many good looks at the hoop.
And just when it appeared the Bulldogs were gaining momentum in the second quarter, Pasadena’s Darius Johnson drew a technical foul for taunting the home student section after nailing a 3-pointer and pulling Pasadena to within 25-12 with 2:32 left in the first half.
Bulldogs coaches Tim Tucker and Marcus Ford were visibly upset with the drawing of the technical, since it swung the momentum back to the Jackrabbits (23-5).
“Well I don’t know if that’s a technical,” said Tucker, who completed his 13th year at the helm. “He puts up a 3 for knocking down a 3 and, like he said, he’s been doing that all year. All of a sudden you go on the road and in CIF and it’s a technical foul.
“That was a big 3, and although they missed the free throws, they got the ball back and took away our celebration and big moment and put us back down again.”
Pasadena didn’t help itself by turning the ball over 11 times in the first half, many of them resulting in easy buckets for Long Beach Poly.
The Bulldogs were stymied midway through the first quarter, where they came away empty on eight consecutive possessions. It was then, with less than a minute left in the first quarter, that it appeared Pasadena might actually go scoreless in the first quarter. And it did.
Joe Henson, the 6-foot-9 senior headed to San Jose State, was sent to the line with 18.4 seconds left and a chance to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard. But he missed both free throws and the Jackrabbits ended on a 9-0 run.
Signs of frustration set in early for Pasadena. When Tyler Barber vigorously attempted to go inside he was called for a traveling violation. Out of frustration, Barber threw the ball against the wall, and though the Poly coaching staff protested to the referees that they should call a technical foul, they didn’t.
But frustration got the better part of Johnson, a senior captain who finished with five points. When he picked up his fifth foul with 47.3 seconds left in the game, he walked out of the gym momentarily. And when the final buzzer came, Johnson grabbed a chair and threw it out onto the court, much to the dismay of Tucker, who demanded that Johnson retrieve the chair and place it back where it was.
Long Beach Poly led by as many as 20 points. The Jackrabbits were led by junior guard Shelton Boykin, who finished with 11 points.
Pasadena got to within 10 points, but by then there was less than 40 seconds left.
“All season long our defense has been a staple,” Long Beach Poly coach Sharrief Metoyer said.
This was Pasadena’s third consecutive second-round exit. They won a CIF title in 2007.
Henson couldn’t shake loose from the smaller and slower Julian Camper in the post. Camper pestered him inside with his heavy frame and Henson finished with 10 points. George Toyama finished with a game-high 18 points.
“You can’t come out and be cold in the first quarter,” Tucker said. “They’re too good for that. We threw the ball away too much and we gave them easy baskets, and if you take away the easy baskets it’s a hell of a game.
“We made a good run in the end. If we had one more quarter we might have gotten them, but the first quarter comes back to haunt you.”
BOYS BASKETBALL RESULTS
Long Beach Poly 51, Pasadena 43
Mater Dei 85, Upland 52
Rancho Verde 72, Long Beach Jordan 63
Etiwanda 78, Dana Hills 69
Lynwood 70, Los Alamitos 69 (OT)
Dominguez 86, Hesperia 48
Redlands 86, Colony 73
King 71, Long Beach Wilson 64
Capistrano Valley 78, Murrieta Valley 61
Chino Hills 67, El Toro 54
Ventura 74, Los Osos 73
Paloma Valley 56, Cajon 51
Perris 66, Corona Centennial 65
Santa Monica 58,Chaparral 56
West Valley 55, Alhambra 51
Tesoro 63, Lancaster 46
Anaheim Canyon 61, Savanna 45
Hart 72, Granite Hills 56
Palm Springs 49, La Caada 37
Nogales 73, West Torrance 70
Santa Margarita 72, South Hills 63
North Torrance 79, Western 64
Arroyo Grande 49, Woodbridge 40
St. John Bosco 49, Campbell Hall 46
Bishop Montgomery 67, St. Francis 59
Atascadero 69, Tustin 63
Northview 80, Citrus Hill 57
Inglewood 76, JSerra 60
Ocean View 87, Ontario Christian 53
San Luis Obispo 43, Bishop Amat 40
Compton Centennial 68, Lompoc 38
Gardena Serra 93, South El Monte 64
Orange Lutheran 80, Montclair Prep 46
Chaminade 60, Lawndale 48
Oaks Christian 82, Banning 49
La Salle 55, Laguna Beach 42
Crespi 58, Salesian 30
Santa Clara 59, Cerritos Valley Christian 43
Cathedral 70, Workman 50
Price 76, Fillmore 59
Pacific Hills 80, Lancaster Desert Christian 38
Cantwell-Sacred Heart 71, Flintridge Prep 69
St. Monica 45, Riverside Notre Dame 43
Woodcrest Christian 79, Desert 71
Verbum Dei 59, St. Paul 58
Santa Ana Calvary Chapel 64, Village Christian 61
Downey Calvary Chapel 64, St. Anthony 32
Morningside 70, Linfield Christian 46
Sierra Canyon 49, St. Margarets 46
Aquinas 47, Bell-Jeff 31
Buckley 71, Pilibos 45
Brethren Christian 45, Pasadena Poly 21
Faith Baptist 50, Arrowhead Christian 49
La Verne Lutheran 79, Bloomington Christian 51
Bermuda Dunes Desert Christian 79, Maricopa 40
Rio Hondo Prep 44, Rolling Hills Prep 38
Laguna Blanca 50, Los Angeles Adventist 44
Pacifica Christian 55, California Lutheran 40
Capistrano Valley Christian 51, Santa Clarita Christian 36
Eastside Christian 61, North County Christian 58
Marywood-Palm Valley 45, Baker Valley 33
Padre Pio 56, Waverly 36
Lee Vining 74, Lake Arrowhead Christian 64
Antelope Valley Christian 64, Bethel Baptist 42
Immanuel Christian 63, New Harvest Christian 47
Hope Centre 84, Mesrobian 20
Vistamar 65, Acaciawood 29
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