The LookOut sports

Santa Monica Sports Notes

The Santa Monica boys basketball team begain the Bay League with a 62-52 home victory over North Torrance as junior guard Brett Deangelis scored 25 points. ``We're trying to find our identity,'' said Coach James Hecht. ``We responded very well in this game after a close first half.'' ...Samohi made seven three-point shots, including four by Deangelis...

Samohi then lost to Inglewood Friday night, 74-65, in a game that wasn't decided until the closing minutes. Inglewood is favored to win the Bay League but its gym is being renovated, so the Sentinels' home game was played at Morningside High...

The Santa Monica College mens basketball team has a 7-9 record as it begins Western State Conference Southern Division play. The team will be home Tuesday night against Oxnard College. Brandon Williams, a sophomore who has played very well lately, leads the team in scoring with 14 ppg. Forward Marko Mihailovic from Palisades High is the only player to start all 16 games and averages 11.6 ppg. Omo Daramola, who is averaging 10.6, is currently inelgible. Ronald Eskridge is averaging 10.5 and point guard Richard Bluette averages 6 points and 5 assists.

Williams has made 46 of 52 free throws (88 percent) and reserve Justin Frerichs has made 12 of 17 (70 percent)...Eskridge is the leading rebounder with 6.5 per game, followed by LeQuan Tolbert (5.0) and Mihailovic (4.7)...

Marcus Shelby, who excelled in football and basketball at St. Monica High the last few years, is at Oregon on a football scholarship. The 6-foot-6 tight end redshirted this season...

Danielle Adefeso, the St. Monica High center the last two years, is at Arizona on a basketball scholarship. Her playing time has been limited this season but the Wildcats believe she has a bright future there...

Crystal Conley, a star on the Santa Monica College womens' basketball team last season and a former Crossroads player, has gone on to Sacramento State...

Brittany Olivera, who starred in several sports at Santa Monica High, including basketball, is at Stanford where she's concentrating on soccer...

Braff Hopes To Build Samohi Girls Basketball Program

By Mitch Chortkoff

The Santa Monica High girls basketball program has had five coaches in four years.

Now that David Braff has arrived he hopes to change the direction of the program. After spending 22 years as a writer in Hollywood Braff is beginning a second career.

``I intend to stay here and build something,'' said Braff, who coached the Samohi girls junior varsity team to a 10-9 record last season, then moved up. ``I wrote over 40 Baywatch episodes. For 22 years I had steady work, being on the staff of some program. In Hollywood that's unusual.

``But I reached the point where it became time for a new challenge. I've coached at Recreation Centers for several years and decided this is what I want to do.''

The Samohi varsity went 7-17 last season and was 2-12 in the Bay League. Braff has some new players, including freshman starters Melissa Mayweather (center) and Amanda McGrew (guard).

Samohi fell behind Bay League powerhouse North Torrance, 15-0, at home this week. The Viking girls didn't lose their poise and came back within 10 points before Saxon star center Julia Pitts, who is headed to UCLA, took over. She finished with 30 points and 15 rebounds.

Braff, who has a positive outlook, told his players that in a few years they could be a dominant team such as North Torrance is now.

In order for a program to be successful there must be stability. There hasn't been and Braff believes some talented Santa Monica girls have left the city to play for other high schools. That trend could change if the word gets around that he's got the Viking program in place.

It helps that the team has an outstanding point guard, Sequoia Todd, who probably has a college future. She's swift and makes good decisions.

As a freshman starter Mayweather is learning the game as she plays. Previously she has had little organized competition. At times, playing against the highly impressive Pitts, she held her own.

Braff has 11 players and they all were in the game against North Torrance in the first half. There's depth and the second unit played well at times without any starters on the court.

More than 50 girls turned out for the Vikings' three teams (varsity, JV and frosh-soph), an impressive number considering the program's lack of success in recent years.

However, some of the better athletes in the school are concentrating on track and volleyball.
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