LONG BEACH - Eight minutes into a CIF Southern Section Division I-AA second-round playoff game at Poly High Friday night, Pasadena had missed all eight of its shots and had committed seven turnovers.
Eight minutes into the game, the host Jackrabbits were well on their way to extending their season to at least Tuesday night.
Poly blanked the Bulldogs in the first quarter, 9-0, then cruised to a 51-43 victory that improved its record to 23-5 and earned the Jackrabbits a home quarterfinal clash with defending champion and No. 3 seed Dominguez Tuesday night.
The Moore League runners-up have played with a lot more fluidity at times this season, but Coach Sharrief Metoyer's team couldn't have played much better on the defensive end of the floor.
The Pacific League champion Bulldogs (22-6) took a 17-game winning streak with them on their bus ride to 1600 Atlantic but made their way back to Pasadena a few hours later after committing 18 turnovers and hitting only 19 of 47 shots from the field.
Joseph Henson, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound center, rarely caught the ball in the post area in the early going and didn't score his first points until there were three minutes to go in the first half.
By that time the Jackrabbits were in front, 25-7, and the only suspense to rear its head the rest of the way came via Poly's ineptitude at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
A 3-point shot by sophomore guard Alexis Moore after a nifty pass out of the high post from senior Julian Camper (eight points, 10 rebounds and four assists) pushed the score to 47-27 with 4:40 to go in the fourth quarter.
With Pasadena frantically pressing and fouling in an attempt to cut its deficit, the Jackrabbits kept going up to the free-throw line and coming away with zilch.
They missed five consecutive attempts, three of the those on the front end of 1-and-1 opportunities, and finished 4-for-15 on free throws in the fourth quarter.
Bulldogs junior guard George Toyama scored nine of his game-high 18 points in the final period to give the score the appearance of a contest that was a lot more competitive than it actually was.
Reserve forward Shelton Boykin, with 13 points, was the only Poly player to register double-figure scoring but that didn't matter much because of the kind of man-to-man defense that was waiting for the Bulldogs in Ron Palmer Pavilion.
"We pride ourselves on our defense," Metoyer said. "Everyone played well (defensively) tonight."
As for the free-throw shooting (7-for-21), Metoyer thought his team was well on the way toward padding its cushion every time it went to the line in the fourth quarter.
"We had our best free-throw shooters in the game," he said. "Fortunately, we had enough of a lead at the time that it didn't really matter."
Camper, who got support from 6-7 sophomore Ryan Anderson (seven points and 12 rebounds) to help dominate the Bulldogs up front, said his team's performance was a testament to the strength of the Moore League.
"The Moore League is so good and everyone kind of beats up each other all season," he said. "I don't think the league gets as much respect as it deserves."
Camper's ability to maneuver effectively inside forced Pasadena to send help his way and he was able to find cutters for layups or teammates for open shots.
"I have a lot of confidence in the guards on this team," he said. "If they're open and we get them the ball, they are going to knock shots in."