No. 1 Poly throttles nationally-ranked California school in Beach Ball opener; Murray scores 23
Poly High boys basketball felt slighted when it wasn’t listed in national preseason rankings, especially with four starters back from last season’s Class 3A state championship three-peat squad. But like its meteoric rise locally, the Engineers’ play, not words, will get them the respect they desire on a larger scale.
Friday night in Myrtle Beach, Poly got some major attention. The top-ranked Engineers defeated California’s Harvard Westlake, 56-46, in the opening round of the Beach Ball Classic inside the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in South Carolina.
Senior guard Brandon Murray scored 23 points for Poly (5-0 overall), and Marquette University recruit Justin Lewis added a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds. Holden McRae led Harvard Westlake with 10 points.
The Engineers led wire-to-wire against the Los Angeles private power (12-1), ranked 19th in the latest MaxPreps national rankings, to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinal against St. John’s College from the District. The winner Saturday will play either Arizona’s Millenium or nationally-ranked Long Island (N.Y.) Lutheran in the semifinals Monday.
Poly scored the game’s first nine points against Harvard Westlake, which shot just five-of-23 in the opening half. The Engineers led 34-12 late in the opening half, setting for a 34-14 advantage.
Harvard Westlake rallied in the second half, closing to 42-33 on a basket from junior Trumann Gettings with five minutes, three seconds left. Murray answered for Poly with a jumper and, after a Harvard Westlake miss, Lewis finished a Raymond English pass with a dunk for a 13-point advantage.
English, Lewis and senior point Rahim Ali each finished with four assists for the Engineers, who shot 36-percent in the second half (nine-of-25) after a 12-for-27 first half start. Murray went 11-of-18 from the field.
Beach Ball Classic
at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Convention Center
No. 1 Poly 56, Harvard Westlake (CA) 46
Harvard Westlake – McRae 10, Hubbard 6, Gettings 4, Dottin 2, Hooks 8, Hinton 7, Thrower 9. Totals 19 6-10 46.
Poly – Lyndsay 2, Lewis 15, Ali 5, Evans 6, Murray 23, English 3, Lamothe 2. Totals 21 8-11 56.
Harvard Westlake 14 32 – 46
Poly 34 22 – 56