With the arrival of December comes the basketball season, and the local high school teams are fielding strong contenders.
Santa Monica High is expected to have strong boys and girls teams, the Crossroads girls are defending CIF champions, the Crossroads boys made the playoffs last season and there’s considerable optimism at St. Monica, where the football team won only one game but the boys and girls basketball programs are thriving.
The first local event will be the St. Monica boys tournament December 1-6 in the campus gym. It was a fixture in years past and was brought back last season.
Samohi and Crossroads will open in the Redondo Tournament from December 1 to 6.
Last season Samohi won the Ocean League with an 8-2 record and was 19-7 overall. St. Monica was 6-4 in the Camino Real League that Cathedral won, but St. Monica had an overall record of 18-8.
Crossroads had a mid-season slump that resulted in a 3-7 league record, but won a couple of playoff games to finish 16-9 and was the Westside’s best team in summer competition.
In girls play, Samohi will open in the Brea-Olinda Tournament December 1-6 after going 22-4 last season, including 9-1 in the Ocean League, where the Vikings beat out a fine Inglewood team to take the league championship.
The Crossroads girls have a new coach, Malek Abdul-Mansour, as they move up from Division 5AA to 5A in quest of another championship. The Roadrunners, who won the Delphic League last season with an 8-0 record and were 16-7 overall, will open December 1-5 in the Palisades Tournament.
The St. Monica girls, who had a 15-11 overall record last season, including 4-4 in league, will also begin their season next week, but a schedule has not yet been announced.
The New Roads girls, champions of the Harbor League last season with an 8-0 record, were 17-6 overall.