The Ocean League boys basketball race is especially interesting this season because of quality and parity.
In contrast to some years when there was a big difference in talent among the first three teams and last three, all six teams showed potential in non-league games.
Now that league play has begun, Santa Monica High’s recent upgraded play has attracted attention.
“The league is better balanced but I believe Santa Monica is the frontrunner,” said Culver City coach Jon Chapman.
Santa Monica is on a six-game winning streak.
The Vikings and Centaurs will play Friday night at Culver City. The 8 p.m. game will follow the 6 p.m. girls game and it promises to be another entertainment-filled night similar to last Friday, when Samohi’s teams defeated Inglewood in the packed Samohi gym.
Neither the Samohi boys nor Culver City has a dominant big man but both teams have been effective. Culver City lost its first five games this season but has improved its record to 8-9 as sophomore Aahamd Walker has gone on a scoring spree.
Samohi defeated Inglewood, 67-58 last Friday on the same night Culver City lost a close game to Morningside. Culver City, which also defeated Hawthorne last week, is 1-1 in league play.
Santa Monica was led by Cory Walker and Solomon Singer in its win over Inglewood. The 6-foot-4 Singer and 14 points and 14 rebounds. Walker scored 19.
Samohi was scheduled for a non-league game Monday against Etiwanda, the last team to beat the Vikings. The game was part of a Martin Luther King program at Los Osos High.
Coach James Hecht has high praise for Viking center Harry Horn, who at 6-foot-2 gives up height to almost every opponent.
“He’s our unsung hero, definitely a warrior,” said Hecht. “We wouldn’t be where we are without him.”
The surprise team of the league is Morningside, which is 12-7.
On this week’s schedule Samohi also had a home game Wednesday against Beverly Hills.