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Samohi Begins League with a Win, Then Loses:

Mitch Chortkoff

Mirror Sports Editor

The Santa Monica High boys’ basketball team took a 14-1 record into its Ocean League schedule and kept right on rolling with a 63-48 home victory over Morningside on Wednesday, January 10.

However, the Vikings lost on Friday night at Inglewood, 67-49.

Hawthorne is the league leader with a 2-0 record. Four teams are 1-1 and Morningside is 0-2.

“We rushed shots and we were a step slow on defense against Inglewood,” said Samohi Coach James Hecht. “We have some work to do.”

Samohi rallied within three points in the third quarter before falling back again. The Vikings attempted 28 three-point shots and made only five.

“That’s a lot of three-pointers and it’s not our strength,” said Hecht.

Senior guard Bryan Louff led Samohi with 15 points. Junior Jamen Fearon scored 11.

Fearon, a key reserve on Samohi’s team last season that reached the CIF playoff semifinals, was likely to be a starter this season but suffered a sprained ankle. However, he has recovered and started the first two league games.

Samohi is scheduled at Beverly Hills on Wednesday, January 17, and will be home Friday night January 19, against Culver City.

St. Monica had a successful league debut, winning its Camino Real League opener from Mary Star, 58-56 in overtime, then defeating Cantwell, 54-46.

Freshman Ryan Capiro made the winning shot against Mary Star as St. Monica came back from a two-point deficit in the last 10 seconds of regulation.

The victory triggered a large, boisterous turnout for the home game against Cantwell.

“It was a true home court advantage,” said Coach Tony Depa. “We had a 14-point lead, they cut it to one, then we pulled away. We’ve won all our close games this season in contrast to the last two years.”

Senior guard Bryce Hamaguchi scored 14 points in the first quarter and finished with 26, making six three-pointers.

St. Monica has an 11-6 record and will play Buckley Saturday morning January 20 at Pierce College.

In girls’ basketball, Santa Monica defeated Inglewood, 71-53 as Daisy Feder scored 17 points and Katy Keating had 16. Coach Marty Verdugo’s Vikings are 8-8 overall, including 2-0 in the Ocean League, and will play at Culver City Friday, January 19, with a 6 p.m. tip-off.

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