From LBPOSTSports.com: It would be unethical, or at least lazy, to just reprint our last preview, right? Let’s assume so. Many things about how Troy matches up with Poly are the same as their last meeting, in the CIF semifinals—Troy still shoots a lot, they’re still short, and Poly will likely still try to exploit their height advantage to plenty of points in the paint. But plenty has changed since then, too. For one thing, Poly lost to Cajon, exposing a weakness with their outside shooting that they’ve largely corrected in the first two rounds of state.
However, in the Jackrabbits’ last game, against Stockdale, they let their opponent go on a run to start the second half when the Stockdale press created a lot of Poly turnovers. The turnovers could be a problem, says Poly coach Carl Buggs. “You know, we won that Troy game, by opening up a big lead after the first quarter—but they outscored us through the second, third, and fourth quarter. The majority of that was from turnovers—we went through a period where we went four straight possessions turning the ball over, where we didn’t even get a shot off.” On the night, Poly turned the ball over 26 times, about double their average for the rest of the postseason.
The question of the evening, other than how well Poly can contain Alex Sanchez (something they were largely successful doing in the first game), will be how well the ‘Rabbits can move through the Warriors’ press, and whether they can effectively break their press without turning the ball over. “We’ve worked on it since the Stockdale game,” says Buggs. “Against Stockdale, they caught us by surprise a little [by not pressing until the second half]. Instead of running our normal press break, we tried to do it too much on our own with dribbling.”
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