June 15, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Marina Vikings looking to bring home first CIF title Saturday against LB Poly

Marina Coach Nick Racklin talks to his players Saturday during a timeout. (Photo courtesy Mark Bausman, For OC Sports Zone).

Marina High School’s boys basketball team is out to bring home the first title in school history when it faces Long Beach Poly Saturday at 3 p.m. in the CIF 2A championship game at Edison.

Marina has come up short in four previous trips to the CIF finals, including 2021 when the Vikings lost to Glendora 53-50 in the 3A finals.

Poly has been a traditional powerhouse in boys basketball, finishing as the 2AA runner-up in 2022. The Jackrabbits also had CIF titles in 2011 and 2014.

Wave League champion Marina (25-7) defeated Beverly Hills 73-60, Temescal Canyon 66-57, Cypress 57-55 and San Gabriel Academy 63-58.

Moore League champion Poly (24-8) defeated La Canada 64-48, Upland 63-34, Murrieta Valley 58-57 and Corona del Mar 57-054.

“They have a bunch of guys who can get to the rim whenever they want and one guy who is already being recruited by high major D1 schools,” said Nick Racklin, now in his 13th year as Marina head coach. “But, they have lost to a couple teams that we beat this year.  It isn’t a great match-up for us, but we’re going to give it everything we have, obviously.”  

Marina is led by Dylan Gomez, who is averaging 16 points a game. Barak Simon is averaging 12.4 points and four assists, Mark Yeager 10 points a game and Luke Pratali and Jared Palacio nine points a game.

Both Poly and Marina have qualified for the Southern California regionals that begin Tuesday.

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—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com