The Santa Monica High girls’ basketball team fell eight points behind Culver City in the first quarter Friday night, January 19.
On the road in an Ocean League game, the Vikings were confronted with another challenge – the kind strong teams often face against upset-minded opponents.
Samohi went ahead by two points at halftime and played impressively in the second half to earn a 48-32 victory.
For a team that was 20-4 last season, Samohi has required time to adjust to a coaching change but seems on track now.
With Marty Verdugo becoming head coach this season, Samohi’s record was only 8-8 before it won the last two games.
Center Katy Keating scored 20 points against Culver City and Daisy Feder had the major defensive assignment, shutting down Culver freshman star Savanna Erskine.
After scoring 20 points in a recent game and 16 Wednesday against Inglewood, Erskine was held scoreless. She missed six early attempts and then concentrated on passing.
Culver City Coach Jack Nikinishi wasn’t discouraged by the outcome.
“Santa Monica is a powerful team and we gave them a game,” he said. “We have four freshmen playing prominently and it was good to play a team like that to see where we need improvement.”
When Samohi trailed, 16-8, Emily Foushang and Keating made three-point shots.
In the second half, as Samohi pulled away, Feder scored off a steal to make the lead 32-23. A few minutes later, a three-pointer by Keating made it 41-29.
In another girls’ game, Crossroads defeated CAMS, 41-36.
In boys play, New Roads lost to Animo of Inglewood, 73-68, and Palisades split two Western League games, losing to league powerhouse Fairfax, 70-61, and defeating Hamilton, 60-43.
Palisades has a 12-7 record and is 2-2 in league games.