The LookOut sports

Santa Monica Sports Notes

Santa Monica High was eliminated in the first round of the CIF basketball playoffs, losing at Arroyo Grande, 77-63. Last season, led by guard Jacoby Atako, the Vikings won their first round game before losing in the second round. Atako is now playing at UC Santa Barbara...

The St. Monica High boys lost to Chadwick, 1-0 in the first round of the CIF playoffs...

Crossroads defeated St. Monica, 3-1, in the first round of the CIF playoffs girls soccer playoffs...

Jonas Swyer, who completed his senior year as Santa Monica High's star pitcher last season, made his college debut for the University of Connecticut over the weekend. He pitched one scoreless inning in relief against UNC Greensboro, retiring the side in order on eight pitches. He struck out one batter.

Forward Conrad Adamzcak scored 30 points as Santa Monica College won a Western State Conference basketball game from Valley, 80-69.

St. Monica Teams Earn Victories In Playoffs

By Mitch Chortkoff

The CIF basketball playoffs arrived at St. Monica High over the weekend, with the boys and girls both winning home first round games.

With Scott McDowell and Michelle Rice building strong programs, it's not unusual for both teams to advance in the playoffs. And each team has a genuine star, with 6-foot-6 Sean Cole leading the boys as he ponders college scholarship offers and 6-4 Danielle Adefeso starring for the girls after signing with Arizona.

The boys defeated Silver Valley, a third place team from a league near Modesto that was highly competitive, 80-64 on Friday night. The girls played Saturday night and cruised past Mojave, 56-36.

The boys will play a second round game Friday night against L.A. Baptist, a wild card team that had to win a qualifying game to get into the main draw, then upset No. 2 seed Calvary Chapel of Santa Ana.

The game will be at a neutral site to be determined.

``We will be learning about L.A. Baptist this week,'' said McDowell. ``We knew everything about Calvary Chapel. They've been a consistently strong team in the playoffs. But upsets happen.''

The girls will play Maranatha, a 54-52 first round winner over Marlborough. The site is yet to be determined.

In the boys playoffs, top-seeded Crossroads and St. Monica are in opposite brackets and won't meet unless both advance to the finals at the Pond in Anaheim.

In the girls playoffs St. Monica is in Division 4-A, the same one as St. Bernard, which eliminated the Mariners last season.

The boys fell behind Silver Valley, 11-6, having trouble with the visitors' pressing defense. But the Mariners settled down and took a 40-27 halftime lead. The advantage was reduced to 54-46 after three quarters before Cole and his mates wore the opponent down.

Cole, who is appears to have the strongest interest in Missouri and Texas A&M, combines strength with a deft shooting touch and is hard to handle inside. He gets inside help from football star Marcus Shelby and the Mariners' guard play is solid.

``I wasn't worried when we fell behind early because we've been a slow-starting team all season,'' said McDowell. ``In the playoffs it's about winning, not about how good you look.''

I ventured back to St. Monica Saturday night and saw another Mariner star take charge. Adefeso was too strong inside for Mojave, which was also competitive and made a good early showing.

With St. Monica leading 23-17 in the 25 seconds before halftime guard Heather Holguin hit a three-point shot. Then the Mariners got the ball back and Adefeso scored on a follow shot to make the halftime lead 28-17.

It wasn't close after that as the Mariners' lead was 36-22 after three quarters and the visitors didn't threaten in the fourth.

St. Monica was without starting point guard Martha Orozco, a poised sophomore who has run the offense most of the season. She has a knee sprain, possibly a tear, and her status for the remainder of the playoffs is unknown until an MRI is performed on the injury.

Taylor Hunt, a freshman, replaced Orozco, and did well. Besides running the offense she made a pair of three-point shots.

I asked Coach Rice if she was concerned having a point guard in the playoffs who was at John Adams Jr. High last season. She smiled and said she has confidence in Hunt.

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