Poly, the perennial CIF contender, came to the Pond Saturday night and defended the heck out of Ike, getting in the passing lanes, getting active on the boards and doing the same kind of defensive damage that had caused four Jackrabbit opponents to average fewer than 40 points per game in the playoffs. And what Poly didn't do to CIF newcomer Ike, the arena and nerves did. Exhibit No. 1: 3-of-15 shooting from the line in the first half. Exhibit No. 2: 13 turnovers and only three assists during the first 16 minutes.
Meanwhile, Poly was getting easy hoops – alley oop jams, stick backs and driving lay-ups – while building a 27-9 lead midway through the second quarter. The state's No. 6 team took a 14-point lead into the break, but were not content to sit on the lead. Poly's advantage grew to 19, 44-25, on a Reggie Butler triple with three minutes left in the third.
From there, Eisenhower, the state's No. 5 team, showed some spark. Led by Sean Marshall, the Eagles scored the last six points of the quarter to make in interesting heading to the last.
Despite Ike's run, at any time Poly could have put the game away for good simply by making its free throws. The team shot 13 of 29 from the charity stripe after the break.
Butler and Bobby Jones both paced Poly with 15 points apiece. And they shared another distinction: both got their bell's rung in the second half. Marcedes Lewis and Carlos Rivers also crested double figures with 12 points each.
Marshall led Ike with 21 points. Johhny Dukes had 11 and Cory McJimson, Ike's second leading scorer, had just nine, including 3-of-13 from the free throw line. He also tweaked a knee early in the fourth quarter.