The Santa Monica High boys basketball team might have a succesful season if it can avoid close losses. So far that hasn’t happened.
The Vikings win enough to gain momentum, but they’ve been at the wrong end of narrow defeats a couple of times.
There was a tournament game in which Redondo made a layup with one second left to turn defeat into a one-point victory.
And there was the finish Saturday night in the championship game of the Beverly Hills Tournament. San Pedro made a pair of three-point shots which resulted in a 47-45 victory over Santa Monica.
San Pedro has a 6-0 record. Santa Monica is 3-4.
Samohi defeated University and Calabasas to reach the finals.
There is plenty of time to correct the late game problems before Ocean League competition begins next month.
One problem is the absence of Kunu Shofu, an intimidating 6-foot-6 center who discouraged opponents from coming inside on Samohi last season. He was a senior and perhaps the most important loss of four players who completed their eligibility.
However, the Vikings are experienced. Five players returned from a team that won 22 games and qualified for the state tournament. So it may be that coach James Hecht just needs some time to determine roles and fit the parts together.
Samohi isn’t the only Ocean League team having some problems. Culver City has lost its first five games.