The LookOut sports

Santa Monica Sports Notes

Samohi's Pablo Dresie didn't play against Morningside. He received two technical fouls in the prior game at Peninsula and was handed an automatic one-game suspension...

Depite a 2-12 Bay League record, including a 67-40 loss to Morningside Friday, Samohi girls basketball coach David Braff says he's not discouraged. The majority of the squad will be back next season and the players are getting necessary experience this year. Braff, in his first year, believes he's building a foundation for the program...

The Crossroads boys basketball team continued its march to a probable Delphic League championship with an overtime 74-70 victory at Montclair Prep Friday, led by guard Joey Abrahams with 20 points...

The Santa Monica College mens' basketball team has gone into second place in the Western State Conference Southern Division with a 62-59 victory at Citrus College, followed by a 75-59 home win over Glendale, led by Brandon Williams with 22 points. SMC will host conference leader Valley College on Feb. 13...

The Crossroads girls soccer team defeated Archer School of Brentwood, 4-0 in a non-league match...

The Samohi boys soccer team won at South Torrance, 2-1 as Martin Zarate scored the winning goal. The Vikings are 8-6-6 overall and 4-4-1 in the Bay League...

Basketball Playoffs Near for Streaking Samohi

By Mitch Chortkoff

The Santa Monica High boys basketball team is reaching its peak at the right time.

With three victories last week, including two on the road, the Vikings are positioning themselves for a berth in the upcoming CIF playoffs.

That's a difficult task since Coach James Hechet's team plays in the powerful Bay League. But with wins at Leuzinger and Peninsula last week and a home rout of Morningside, Samohi has thrust itself into the playoff scramble.

Redondo is the Bay League leader, followed by Inglewood. There's a three-way tie for third place among Mira Costa, Peninsula and Santa Monica.

In the final week of the regular season Mira Costa will play at Santa Monica Tuesday night. Then Mira Costa and Peninsula will oppose each other Thursday.

Four Bay League teams will make the playoffs and a fifth can apply for a wild card berth if it has 11 wins. Santa Monica currently has 13.

``Our team is playing well now,'' said Hecht. ``I was pleased that earlier in the season, even in defeats, our players worked hard and stayed focused. Recently we've had some great fan support too.''

There was a capacity crowd at Samohi Friday evening. It was Senior Night, when players ending their Viking careers presented a parent or other family member. Then Samohi scored the first 15 points against Morningside and cruised to a 74-37 victory.

Guard Bret DeAngelis, the team's season-long high scorer, led the way with 20 points.

On Wednesday Santa Monica went to Peninsula and won, 58-49.

Watching Samohi now, there's a big difference from the way the Vikings looked early in the season.

The main difference is the presence of three football players who have gotten into basketball shape and provided depth.

Chris Gary started at forward Friday and was impressive on defense. The football wide receiver also was the leading rebounder.

Football receiver and defensive back Terrell Maze provided tenacity, as did wide receiver Charles Gordon, who recently announced he will play football at Kansas.

``The football players are all great competitors,'' said Hecht. ``I think their competitive ways have helped our other players. Gary has been a presence inside.''

Gary has announced he will attend Georgetown, where he will play football and study to become a lawyer.

A fourth newcomer is 6-foot-6 Charles Stokes, brother of former NBA player Ed Stokes. The younger Stokes began playing seven games ago. He's a reserve who gives Hecht another big man and his playing time has increased in recent games.

Samohi began the season with DeAngelis and forward Pablo Dresie the most likely to succeed. They have and they've received increased support. One sophomore, 6-4 forward Greg Walker, does a nice, solid job. Nothing fancy, but he often makes the right play.
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