The LookOut sports

Santa Monica Sports Notes

The Santa Monica High boys basketball team has a 5-1 record following a 62-49 victory over Half Moon Bay of Northern California in the second round of the Bell-Jeff Tournament. Forward Jon Folonis was the high scorer with 18 points. In an earlier game Folonis made 13 of 13 shots to score 26 points. ``Jon is playing extremely well,'' said Coach James Hecht. ``He provided a big spark for us last week in the El Segundo Tournament.''...

Samohi finished third in the El Segundo event. In a victory over Narbonne Pablo Deris scored 14 and Jared Brunk 11.

The Samohi girls basketball team defeated Bishop Loretto Conaty, 72-25 in the Marlborough Tournament and then won the consolation bracket championship with a 74-66 victory over Oak Christian. Sophomore guard Medina Britt, a starter as a freshman last season, scored 25 points in the championship game.

The SMC mens' basketball team lost to Compton, 60-55, in a consolation bracket semifinal game at the Pasadena Tournament despite 23 points by forward Conrad Adamczak..

Aras Baskauskas, a 6-foot-3 guard who was all-Bay League at Samohi two years ago, has earned a scholarship at UC Irvine and played nine minutes in a 65-60 loss to UCLA in Pauley Pavilion Saturday night. Baskauskas is a redshirt freshman. He had eight assists last week in a win over UC San Diego. ``He went to UCI without a scholarship but with the understanding he'd be on the team his first season and have the opportunity earn one,'' said Samohi coach James Hecht. ``He redshirted for a year and now has his scholarship.'' Baskauskas is a reserve who averages 15 minutes per game.

SMC Women Look Strong With New Head Coach

By Mitch Chortkoff

Lydia Strong accomplished just about everything possible coaching junior college womens' basketball in Northern California. In 14 years at Ohlene J.C. near Fremont, Calif. her teams won 235 games and six conference championships.

She was ready for a new challenge and found it when Santa Monica College Athletic Director Keith Shackleford hired her.

Now Strong presides over a team she believes will be a contender in the Western State Conference.

``I like the opportunity here,'' she said. ``Ohlene is a small college, with about 10,000 students. When you have 30,000 students to draw from you can see the advantages.''

Strong's SMC women lost their first two games but won the third and are looking better as they gain continuity.

``We have things to work on but we're starting to come together as a team,'' said Strong. ``We've had four or five different high scorers. We don't have to depend on one player every game.''

One of the team's best players is sophomore Crystal Conley, the former Crossroads star. Other sophomores are Nicole Bourbon, Ava Mazafari, Tonilyn Sideco, Yumie Shoji, Elif Schmidt, Karylnn Santos and Shevanda Redden.

The freshman include former Santa Monica High Amanda Mayfield, Hannan Novian, Kristin Melligen, Maria Sanchez and Josefa Laguna.

``One night Crystal Conley scored 24 points, the next night Shevonda Redden led us,'' said Strong.

Since arriving at SMC within the last six months Shackleford has gained a reputation for getting things done. Hiring a coach with this much experience and success represents another example.

Strong has Mike Thompson and Yahya Kahalfani as assistant coaches.

The new coach lists Bakersfield, Ventura and Canyons among the toughest opponents but is looking forward to the challenge.

``We're not afraid of competition,'' she says.

How good can the Corsair women be? Can they be like John McMullen's mens teams that annually win 20 games and two years ago went 28-3?

``I don't put a cap on how far this program can advance,'' she replied.

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