Last season the Santa Monica High girls’ basketball team had a 20-3 record. With four starters returning this season looks promising.
However, judging by early results, winning the Ocean League again isn’t going to be easy.
While Samohi has a 5-4 record in non-league games, Beverly Hills is 9-3 and Inglewood is 7-2. And the Vikings don’t have anyone in the top three of the major individual league categories.
Katy Keating scored 20 points in Samohi’s last victory but the team then lost to Long Beach Poly, Narbonne and last week at home to Mira Costa, 77-63.
Marty Verdugo, a former assistant coach of both the Viking boys and girls team, replaced Marcus Charuvasra as head coach this season.
In other Westside girls play, St. Monica won two games in the Buckley tournament (over Pilgrim and Campbell Hall) before losing to Buckley, 51-49.
In Westside boys’ basketball, Crossroads played three games last week, losing two, bringing their record to 8-3.
Pacific Hills won at Crossroads, 56-50. Crossroads then defeated New Roads in a spirited non-league game between neighboring schools, 58-42. The next night, Friday, December 15, Crossroads lost to San Diego powerhouse Crawford High, 101-78. The game was played at Pepperdine and was arranged because three Crawford players have committed to play for Pepperdine next season.
“It was a great learning experience for our players,” said Crossroads coach Kevin Brown. “It showed we have to work hard to do well against higher quality teams and it should prepare us for our Olympic League.”
Crossroads has been without 6-foot-6 center Conrad Liebowitz since December 8 as he recovers from a concussion.
Crossroads will play in the 56-team Torrey Pines Tournament in San Diego this week.
St. Monica has a 5-3 record. In a 58-38 loss to St. Anthony of Long Beach, Bryce Hamaguchi and Jonathon Azer each scored nine points.
Venice was defeated by San Fernando, 64-57 in a non-league game.