Kunnu Shofu, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior center who wears glasses, overpowered Culver City High with a career high 29 points, including six dunks in Santa Monica High’s 62-49 road victory Friday night, January 18.
Shofu, who was a reserve on last year’s team, has emerged this season. He had 21 points in a league win over Morningside.
“Culver was defending with a man behind him,” said Samohi coach James Hecht. “We wanted to go into him often, giving him the option of getting the ball back to our guards for open shots. But he went aggressively to the basket with a lot of success.”
Samohi has regained a share of first place in the Ocean League boys’ basketball race despite a home loss to Inglewood in the second league game. After Inglewood defeated Santa Monica, Culver City beat Inglewood, and Santa Monica then beat Culver City.
This week Samohi was scheduled for a game at Hawthorne Wednesday, January 23, a home game against Morningside Friday, and a game against St. Augustine High in Carlsbad Saturday at 3:30 p.m. as part of an all-day parade of games between Los Angeles and San Diego schools.
Samohi started slowly against Culver City, trailing 14-11 after the first quarter. As the second quarter began an announcement was made that the score was actually 16-11. Culver then scored to make it 18-11 while the Samohi coaches kept arguing about the disputed two points.
It didn’t matter in the third quarter when Samohi intensified its defense, forced mistakes, and outscored Culver City by 18 points.
“Ed Willis, our season-long scoring leader, had two quick fouls and wasn’t in the game very long at the beginning,” said Hecht. “But we did a good job of staying close until he came back.”
It was a good day for the Samohi program as the Vikings won three games in the Culver City gym. The Samohi sophomore and junior varsity teams also won, displaying a batch of talented young players. Sophomores Harry Horn and Denilo Toskovic and junior Tyler Skaggs led the junior varsity, which has won nine of its last 11 games.
Several sophomore team players appear to be top prospects, and with sophs also leading the junior varsity and three sophomores playing on the varsity the program is in good shape.