The Los Alamitos High boys basketball team had a solid start but eventually faded in a 56-39 loss to Long Beach Poly in the CIF State Division II Regional Semifinals, last week at Los Alamitos High. The Griffins led 28-26 at halftime and trailed just 39-36 at the end of the third quarter. But the run the Jackrabbits began in the third quarter continued into the fourth, as the Griffins went cold from the outside. Trying to drive the ball and work from the inside played right into the size of the Poly defense, as they disrupted any inside attempt by the Griffins. In the end, Los Alamitos coach Eddie Courtemarche said his team just seemed to run out of gas. “I was really proud of the way we competed with them, especially in the first half,”Courtemarche said. The Griffins had 16 points from EyassuWorku, as well as 10 each from Jacob Eyman and Pepe Garcia. But in the second half, when the Griffins began to struggle with their outside shots, the Poly defense collapsed on the inside. Long Beach had 16 points each from Drew Buggs and Zafir Williams. They hit a three pointer early in the fourth that extended their lead to 44-36. Long Beach blocked two shot attempts on defense, then drew a foul on the offensive end. After another defensive stop, the Jackrabbits got a fast-break basket that pushed the lead to 48-36, with 4:39 left in the game. The Griffins could not regain any momentum and Poly slowly put the game away. The loss ended the season for the Griffins and saw the end of the high school career for Worku. Worku has been the standout player among a talented group and Courtemarche called him a once-in-a-lifetime player. “He does it all, and the way he prepares himself and the responsibility and pressure that he shoulders for this team, game in and game out, if very very commendable,” Courtemarche said of Worku.