The Santa Monica High boys basketball team won the Ocean League championship three of the past six years, including last season.
But the Vikings can’t win it this time.
Samohi entered the final week of the regular season with four league losses. Inglewood and Morningside had lost just once, so one of them will finish first.
Samohi is tied with Hawthorne for third place and is likely to receive a CIF playoff berth based on an overall 17-7 record.
“We hit a lull for a variety of reasons,” said Coach James Hecht. “Injuries and poor shooting were factors.”
Samohi lost to Inglewood 60-54 and defeated last place Beverly Hills, 62-36 in the first week of February. The Vikings will play at Culver City and Hawthorne to complete their regular season schedule.
Playoff pairings will be announced on Sunday, February 15.
Samohi was 2-for-17 on three-point attempts at Inglewood and missed 16 of 32 free throws.
“We lost to them by 17 the first time, and by six this time,” said Hecht. “I think we’re improving but it’s hard to win with shooting like that.”
Two nights later Samohi enjoyed Senior Night for its last home game, and handled Beverly Hills easily as starters played only about half the game.
Center Kunnu Shofu had 15 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots, Danilo Tosovic scored 10 and Garrett Frick nine.
“We still believe we can make some noise in the playoffs,” said Hecht. “We’re getting healthier.”