Samohi earns win against Culver City

Vikings outscores Centaurs in final period for Ocean League win

Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014, 5:49:00 AM

Dennis Freeman

Samohi's Jonah Mathews (4) watches as Culver City's Isaac Girley go up for a shot in the Ocean League contest played at Culver City High School.
Dennis Freeman
Samohi's Jonah Mathews (4) watches as Culver City's Isaac Girley go up for a shot in the Ocean League contest played at Culver City High School.

Culver City-The road back to glory is usually a hard one to

navigate. The Santa Monica boys’ basketball team is learning that lesson. A year

removed from being crowned as kings of CIF Southern Section Division 1, Samohi

has found out that it is much more difficult to be the hunted as oppose to being

the ones doing the hunting.

That comes with the territory when you’re the reigning CIF

champs and become one of two of the best teams in the state of California. But

the Vikings are finding their way this season. After playing a tough preseason

schedule, Samohi looks like it has benefited from that early season grind with

two straight Ocean League wins over Inglewood and Culver City.

After getting past Inglewood in a home game, Samohi went

into a tough environment at Culver City and managed to prevail with the win.  Samohi swept Culver City on its way to the

Ocean League title last year. Samohi got off to a good start this season against

their league rival by defeating the Centaurs for a 62-53 road win.

By defeating Culver City, Samohi recorded its third straight

win following four consecutive losses. Samohi locked in defensively in the

fourth quarter to prevail with its 10th win of the season. For the

first three quarters, the Vikings and the Centaurs were locked in a pretty

close game with Culver City holding a 40-33 advantage heading into the final

period.

Then the sky fell out for the Centaurs. Samohi broke open a

close game by outscoring the Centaurs 29-13 in the fourth quarter to walk away

with the win.  

Last season, Samohi posted easy double-digit wins against

Culver City.  Obviously, this is not last

year. This game would prove to be much tougher. However, in the end, the

Vikings finally got their act together to earn their second straight Ocean

League contest.

Last season, Samohi claimed the CIF title and made it all

the way to the state championship game where they fell to Pleasant Grove.  Neither team-Samohi nor Pleasant Grove-are

what they were last year. Pleasant Grove is having its share of struggles this

season as the Vikings are, though Samohi did defeat the Eagles in December at

the Holiday Hardwood Invitational.

This year’s team is treading to stay above .500 and has

played with inconsistency so far. The Vikings may have turned the corner in

their play, beginning when they took apart and defeated Inglewood in their

first league game this year. This challenge would come against a Culver City

team playing with high intensity and playing in its own gym.

Coming into this game, both teams were pretty much dead-even

in the scoring column, averaging just above 61 points per game.  League play always seems to bring the best out

of teams and individuals. Samohi and Culver City went at each other as the

scoring in the first three quarters would indicate. The Centaurs held the edge

after first quarter, outscoring the Vikings 15-14.

The second period was just as intense as both teams seem to

get a bit chippy, particularly near the end of the period when free throw

shooting became a big part of the quarter. Leading the way for the Vikings were

Travis Fujita, Jonah Mathews and Chris Johnson.  

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