Girls BB: Long Beach Poly visit

The real Jackrabbits won’t be able to be evaluated until January 6 when two key transfers will become eligible.

For the Windward stop of the Cal-Hi Sports Caravan girls basketball tour of Southern California, CLICK HERE.

For more about Mater Dei and Sierra Canyon scrimmage, CLICK HERE.

For more about new coach at Playa del Rey St. Bernard, CLICK HERE.

Prior to heading to Orange County, and before a stop in Playa del Rey of St. Bernard on Thursday morning, the whirlwind tour by the Cal-Hi Sports Caravan got started at a 6:50 a.m. practice at Long Beach Poly.

With an enrollment of over 5,000 students, even at 7 in the morning, Poly is like a city in action. The action that was the hottest and heaviest was in the Jackrabbits’ gym.

Emoni Jackson, Jada Matthews, Arica Carter and Lajahna Drummer all got up early for 7 a.m. practice on Thursday at Long Beach Poly.

Emoni Jackson, Jada Matthews, Arica Carter and Lajahna Drummer all got up early for 7 a.m. practice on Thursday at Long Beach Poly.

Poly isn’t quite as loaded now as Mater Dei, but after New Year’s that will all change.

“We won’t be fully loaded until January 6,” said a smiling Poly head coach Carl Buggs.

That first Monday in January is when the No. 1 big girl in the state, UCLA-signed senior 6-foot-3 post Lajahna Drummer, becomes eligible after transferring from St. Bernard.

Not only will Drummer be eligible, but another senior big who also comes over from St. Bernard, and who like Drummer missed last season with a knee injury, 6-foot-2 power forward Emoni Jackson, will also be eligible. Jackson also played as a sophomore at Pasadena Muir and was on the all-state sophomore team.

With flashy point guard Arica Carter and fellow seniors 6-foot-1 forward Jada Matthews and guard Airica Carmon already in place, Buggs will have multiple D1 college level players in the line-up.

Not only that, but Poly is loaded with underclass size and speed.

Sophomore point guard Justyce Dawson is much improved, and several freshmen look like they will have roles to play this season for the Jackrabbits.

The frosh list includes point guard Danae Miller, point guard Kyra Brady, 5-11 forward Kathryn Headspeth, and 6-3 post Ayanna Clark.

Clark, who was the top-ranked girl from the class of 2017 in the Girls of Summer rankings, looks even better, and playing against Drummer in practice has helped.

Drummer, who has fit in right away with the Poly girls, likes having younger players to mentor.

“I see myself as a leader and want to take on a leadership role, particularly mentoring the younger post players like Ayanna,” Drummer told Cal-Hi Sports.

With as many big girls and speedy guards as he has at his disposal, Buggs will have the kinds of combinations most coaches can only dream about.

“With the new kids we have this year and all the freshmen we’re trying to blend in, everyone is still getting used to each other,” Buggs remarked.

One thing is for sure, Poly was already loaded, and come January 6, it becomes even more stacked, and a leading contender in the race to finish as the second CIF Open Division state champion.


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