The second Ocean League showdown of the season between the Santa
Monica High School boys' basketball team and Beverly Hills High School
could not have started worse for the Vikings Friday night.
With sole possession of first place on the line, Samohi didn't just
get out of the gate slow, it found itself stuck in the mud in the first
quarter. Beverly Hills, stepping on the defensive gas pedal in the first
quarter, locked up Samohi and limited the Vikings to just five points
in the first period.
The Normans pressed and pressured Samohi players all the way up the
court and in isolation, wrecking havoc and chaos for the Vikings early
on its way to a 58-45 win at Santa Monica.
The victory puts Beverly Hills (17-8, 7-1) in the driver's seat to
claim the Ocean League title. Samohi, with the loss, drop to a tie with
Inglewood for second place. The Normans jumped out to a 13-5 first
quarter lead by being active on the defensive end, forcing multiple
Vikings' turnovers and forcing Samohi to play out of rhythm for the
first eight minutes of the game.
The drama continued for Samohi a couple of minutes into the second
quarter as the Normans raced out to a lead that was big enough to think
that this game would turned into an ugly blowout defeat for the
However, Samohi (14-10, 6-2), got its swerve back midway through the
second quarter to show those packed in the hot Santa Monica High gym
that this contest was far from over. Even though the Vikings went into
halftime trailing the Normans, 29-17, Samohi players Jonah Mathews, Ray
Mancini and Travis Fujita gave the home fans something to cheer about in
the second quarter.
The Vikings got back into the game with some stellar defense of its
own, holding Beverly Hills to just 12 points in the third quarter,
energizing the home crowd. The crowd got even more hyped after Mathews
connected on a three-point shots and a put back basket by Mikhail Brown
put Samohi within striking distance of possibly overtaking Beverly
After Brown's bucket, Samohi trailed Beverly Hills just 43-39 midway
through the fourth quarter. But a couple of turnovers and a number of
key shots made by Beverly Hills down the stretch was enough for the
Normans to short-circuit Samohi's comeback dreams.
Mathews led Samohi with 14 points. Fujita and Mancini each contributed six points for the Vikings.
Copyright © 2011 by Santa Monica Mirror. All rights reserved.