After the Santa Monica High boys basketball team began its Ocean League schedule with losses to Morningside and Inglewood January 14 and 16, Coach James Hecht was asked if it happened before.
“Not that I can remember,” he replied. “But there’s a first time for everything.”
Hecht is in his 13th year as coach of Viking teams who regularly have 20-win seasons and contend for league championships. An 0-2 league record would be highly unusual.
But that’s what happened. First there was a 69-68 overtime home court loss to Morningside on a night when Samohi made only 19 of 35 free throws. Then there was a 74-51 loss at Inglewood, the team that is considered Samohi’s foremost challenger in the league race.
At Morningside, Viking center Kunnu Shofu dislocated his left thumb in the third quarter. X-rays showed no fracture and he was able to play against Inglewood.
In addition, guard Harry Horn suffered a concussion.
Samohi lost as many games in those two days as they had all season. Now a 13-2 record has become 13-4.
“We still have confidence in our team,” said Hecht. “But Inglewood played a lot harder than us. I feel that we have to get our intensity back.”
In the week beginning January 19, Samohi is scheduled to play at Beverly Hills Wednesday and have a home game against Culver City Friday.
Hecht’s teams often have balanced scoring, and that’s the way it has been this season too. Donte Bowie and Jerome Hackett each scored 17 against Morningside, Shofu had 10, and Cory Walker nine.