Although the Santa Monica High boys basketball team has done well early this season, an important ingredient has been missing.
Donte Bowie, the Vikings’ senior point guard and a team leader, suffered a knee injury in August, missed the team’s preparation for the season, and didn’t play in a game until late December.
However, Bowie has joined the squad, and according to Coach James Hecht, “is moving well and looks good.” With Ocean League games about to begin, Bowie’s return is timely.
“Cory Walker has been playing well but this will take some pressure off of him,” said Hecht. “Cory can play the opposite guard position too.”
Following non-league games in the first week of January against Mira Costa and Peninsula, the latter Friday night January 9 at Samohi, the Vikings will begin their league schedule.
Samohi, which has an 11-2 record, is favored to repeat as league champion. Inglewood is regarded as the strongest challenger.
In its most recent games, Samohi reached the semifinals of the Chaminade Tournament with a 62-46 win over Thousand Oaks, lost to Granada Hills 49-46, and took third place by routing Saugus, 67-41.
Granada Hills won the tournament by defeating Valencia in the championship game.
Granada Hills was less athletic than its rivals but controlled the tempo and played well together.
“We were ahead by 11 points but we became frustrated and the game became a learning experience for us,” said Hecht. “They were patient and we were a step slow. We didn’t play well and they played harder.
“But I was very happy that we didn’t let one loss become two. We came back ready to play against Saugus. We led 21-12 after the first quarter and didn’t let up.”
Center Kunno Sofu was the high scorer with 14 points and forward Garrett Flick was named to the all-tournament team.