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Santa Monica Sports Notes

Santa Monica Sports Notes
The traditional change from football to basketball season will occur when Coach James Hecht's varsity plays in the El Segundo Tournament starting Dec. 4. St. Monica is also in the event...

Santa Monica College (7-3) and Citrus (6-4) weren't selected for community college football bowl games but have agreed to play each other in a new one sponsored by US Bank. The game will be played Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Corsair Field. ``We're delighted to have this opportunity,'' said SMC coach Robert Taylor...

Scott McDowell, St. Monica High basketball coach, has high expectations for a team that won 19 games last season. ``It's time for us to do it,'' he said. ``We feel pretty good about this team but we have to do it on the floor.''

McDowell was confident his team would defeat Milken in last season's playoffs. However the Mariners lost. Milken proved to be a worthy team as it reached the semifinals before losing a close game to Crossroads.

Leading the way for St. Monica will be 6-7 Sean Cole, an all-CIF first team choice last season with 18 points and 16 rebounds per game. Football star Marcus Shelby, Cole's 6-6 frontcourt partner, is out for the first few weeks with a stress fracture. The Mariners also have Jamayne Potts, who made all-CIF second team last season with 15 points and five assists per game. Other experienced guards are Brandon Walker and Hampton Nunley.

St. Monica will have its usual battles with St. Anthony and Verbum Dei in the Camino Real League. In addition, it has a non-league game against Loyola Dec. 19 at Loyola Marymount University.

Jacoby Atako, the star Santa Monica High guard last season, is getting immediate playing time at UC Santa Barbara although he's not starting. He had eight assists in a game last week. UCSB plays UCLA in Pauley Pavilion Wednesday night.

Samohi Season Ends With Home Field Playoff Defeat

By Mitch Chortkoff

Samohi's football team was vastly improved this season but couldn't handle the elite teams in Division 10.

In a 41-14 second round CIF playoff loss Friday night to defending champion Paso Robles at Corsair Field the Vikings saw how far they have to go.

``We accomplished some goals this season,'' said Coach Norm Lacy. ``We were 9-3, but I'm not satisfied with a third place league finish and second round playoff elimination.

``Samohi was in Division 2 last season, but after the game I told our team we have to get back in the weight room and start thinking about next season. Because there are some very physical teams in Division 10 too.''

Samohi lost to Ocean League powers Inglewood and North Torrance. They defeated South Torrance, which is still alive in the playoffs.

Who knows if they could have beaten Paso Robles with speedy Charles Gordon and Derrick Davis? Neither played due to injuries.

Samohi scored the first and last touchdowns of the game. In between, however, they gave up 41 points.

``These guys are really good,'' Lacy said of Paso Robles. ``If they play Inglewood for the (Division 10) championship I think it will be a very good game. If I had to pick a winner I'd say Paso Robles because they don't turn the ball over.''

Gordon didn't play since the third game, when he suffered a fractured left ankle against Venice. Davis, who gained 1,700 yards and was a durable tailback all season, suffered a high ankle sprain while returning a kickoff in the first round playoff victory over Duarte.

Davis suited up and wanted to play against Paso Robles. He ran up and down the sidelines without any trace of an injury. Nontheless, he was held out.

``He was about 80 percent,'' said Lacy. ``But why take a chance? If he was a senior I'd have let him make the decision. But he's a junior and he'll have next season.''

At halftime, when Samohi was behind 27-6, Davis came out of the locker room early and ran some drills on the field, trying to convince the coaches he could play. But he didn't get into the game.

Adrian Gonzalez, who was a premier linebacker all season, played tailback for the second straight game. After he gained 184 yards on 28 carries (amended and official statistics) against Duarte, he struggled with 70 yards on 17 carries against Paso Robles.

Despite the loss there was a festive atmosphere in the stadium as Samohi played its first home playoff game in 15 years. The near-capacity crowd stayed to the finish and when the game ended both teams were cheered by their fans.

In Samohi's post-game meeting, each senior trotted past his teammates and was applauded.

Samohi scored first on a six-yard TD pass from quarterback James Cooper to receiver Terrell Maze. The extra point kick was blocked.

Early in the second quarter Paso Robles drove to a touchdown. They recovered a fumble and scored again, then connected on a 40-yard TD pass to go ahead, 21-6.

Without Gordon and Davis, Samohi didn't have the ability to strike quickly and couldn't come back. The only other TD it scored was on a short run by fullback Jesus Valdovinos. Cooper threw to Maze for the two-point conversion.

``I thought we might keep it close and find a way,'' said Lacy. ``But their defense was better than I expected.''

Lacy said the players would take a week off, then report for work in the weight room.

The theme of the season was ``Return to Glory.'' That, indeed was the case as the team came back from consecutive 2-8 seasons.
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