Entering the final week of the tightly-contested Ocean League boys’ basketball race, Santa Monica High is in a favorable position.
The Vikings have a one-game lead and will play their final two regular season games at home.
Despite a 46-38 loss at Inglewood January 30, Samohi finished the week with a one-game lead when it won at Beverly Hills on Friday, 40-36, while Culver City upset Inglewood.
The standings became Samohi first at 6-2, followed by Inglewood and Hawthorne at 5-3.
A surprising development has been the inability of Beverly Hills to win a league game. Although the Normans had the most returning starters of any league team, including USC-bound guard Percy Miller, their league record is 0-8.
“Even with that record we knew they’d be tough to beat at home,” said Samohi coach James Hecht. “They always are.”
And it was a close game. Samohi fell behind by one point late in the game but went back in front on a three-point basket by Justin Maxwell, then made some clinching free throws.
In the Inglewood game Samohi shot poorly and was outrebounded.
However, the Vikings have overcome three losses in their first four games of the season to have a 17-7 overall record.
At the end of the week CIF pairings will be announced, and the Ocean League frequently has three berths.