Poway High School’s 64-49 victory in the San Diego Section Division I boys’ basketball championship game Saturday night at the Sports Arena was a simple matter of a team versus an individual.
First half: Poway vs. San Diego forward Clark James.
Second half: Poway vs. San Diego center Milton Miller.
James and Miller combined for 36 points, while Gabby Awbrey (21 points), Jon Culbertson (16 points), Jay Blankenbeckler (13) and Adam Jones (8) led the balanced Poway offense. Poway Coach Neville Saner, understated as usual, was pleased with his team’s execution.
“We ran some pretty good things at times,” he said.
Particularly in the first half, when the Titans (23-4) all but decided the game. Poway’s discipline and balanced scoring helped the Titans to a 38-25 halftime advantage. Awbrey collected a team-high 11 points in the first half on a mixture of layups and jump shots.
Jones powered inside for 8 points and Jay Blankenbeckler picked up 7 for Poway in the half.
San Diego’s only answer was James, who scored his team’s first six points. It wasn’t until 2:37 remained in the first quarter that someone besides James scored for San Diego (20-5). Center Milton Miller had the honors with a pair of free throws.
Jerome Allen buried a three-pointer and followed with a 12-footer to pull San Diego to within hoping distance--38-25--at halftime.
But Poway continued to dominate the second half with crisp passing and well-designed offensive sets. This time out, Miller scored San Diego’s first six points, but they were not enough to offset Poway’s team effort.
“That’s the way we’ve been all season,” said Awbrey, who tied Miller for game-high point totals.
And that was San Diego’s undoing. San Diego Coach Dennis Kane knew he had been beaten by a well-prepared team. But his team, he said, has come a long way in a few years.