As 2009 came to an end the Santa Monica High boys basketball team encouraged Coach James Hecht by winning three of four games in the Oaks Christian Tournament to take fifth place.
“Our intensity has improved and we’re making the extra pass which makes such a difference,” said Hecht, who is coaching a Viking team for the 16th consecutive year.
After starting the season by losing three of its first four games Samohi has improved its record to 7-5.
At Oaks Christian Samohi defeated Alemany 60-49, lost to Etiwanda 50-42, then defeated Thousand Oaks 69-64 and Pasadena 67-57 in overtime.
Thousand Oaks has most players returning from a CIF championship team.
Hecht said Solomon Singer and four-year backcourt starter Cory Walker stood out, and he praised 6-foot-2 Harry Horn for playing well against taller centers.
Singer scored 22 points in one game and 19 in another. Walker had games of 22 and 16.
Santa Monica won’t play again until January 6 — a home 7 p.m. non-league game against Redondo — and will have another home 7 p.m. non-league game Jan. 8 against Mira Costa.