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Girls' basketball: Poly wins first Open Division state title

Girls' basketball: Poly wins first Open Division state title
Long Beach Poly players were positively floored by Saturday's 70-52 triumph over Salesian in the state Open Division championship game at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. (Darryl Washburn /)

Long Beach Poly can hang another banner on its gym wall: 2014 Open Division state champion.

The Jackrabbits won their sixth state title and first in the Open Division with a 70-52 victory over Salesian tonight at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento--and it was truly a team effort.

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Freshman forward Ayanna Clark led the way with 19 points, 14 of them in the second half, senior guard Tania Lamb had 13 (including three 3-pointers) and senior forward Lajahna Drummer added 11 for Poly (27-3), which opened a 36-23 halftime lead.

"Every team is different and every championship is special in its own way," said Poly Coach Carl Buggs, who took over the program in 1999 and led the Jackrabbits to four straight Division I state titles from 2006-09 and another last year. "This team took time to gell, but it's one of the best ones I've had."

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Justyce Dawson scored eight points and fellow senior guard Arica Carter had five before fouling out with 1:44 left. Salesian (30-7) opened the third quarter on a 16-0 run to take the lead, but Poly responded and led by six entering the fourth quarter.

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