Posted On: 02/13/20 8:56 PM
LONG BEACH: The CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoff began on Wednesday night with tons of talented teams fighting to continue their season. Long Beach Poly boys basketball team hosted their playoff opener at home against Crossroads. The game offered several lead changes. Crossroads came out early and strong taking a halftime lead of 31-26. Coming out of the half Poly made a run led by star guard Peyton Watson to get back into things and take the lead into the fourth 46-41. Poly ultimately was able to hold off a late rally and secure the home victory defeating Crossroads 66-60 advancing to the next round where the will face on the road Poly High School (23-5) out of Riverside California. Four takeaways from the game 2021 guard Peyton Watson Long Beach Poly: In a game featuring a high-level player like 2021 guard Peyton Watson, Crossroads was determined to not let him be the reason they were going to lose. The effort was there the results were not. Crossroads consistently sent a double team at him all game which often left their defense scrambling if he broke it which he did often. He showed off his size and speed to beat the double teams and when he did have space he showed off his silky smooth release hitting contested pull-ups. Peyton was the best player on the court all night and the defense tried to contain him but he ultimately finished the contest with a game-high 22 points showing why he's one of the top prospects in his class. Long Beach Poly guard play: Peyton Watson wasn't alone, it was a few key role players who stepped up big and help contribute to the win. 2022 guard Chris Watson younger brother of Peyton had 10 points while 2021 guard Anthony Robinson pitched in with some timely buckets finishing with 11 points. Both guards were vital to breaking Crossroad's full-court press. Chris Watson showed a lot of ability with his ball-handling and composure by not getting sped up and committing turnover when pressed and attacking the rim when possible. That was a big factor in their victory. 2021 Forward Brendan Taylor Crossroads: Taylor is a 6'6 powerful junior who uses his size and strength to excel around the basket. Taylor was a mismatch for whoever Poly tried to match up against him. Taylor found himself in the paint all night due to his activity on the glass and had himself a pretty solid night leading his team in scoring with 17. Crossroads is set for the future: Crossroads may have lost this game but things look bright going into the next season. They will return 2021 forward Brendan Taylor, 2022 6'10 center Henri Adiassa, 2022 guard Sam Slutske. Expect Crossroads to compete big time next season.