After easily brushing off two outclassed opponents in the CIF Division 1 basketball playoffs, the Santa Monica High boys awaited their first test Tuesday night, February 23 at No. 1 seed Chino Hills. Tipoff was scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Vikings dismissed second round opponent Dana Hills, 63-39, on Friday night as Cory Walker scored 21 points, Danilo Toscovic contributed 19 and James Montgomery 14.
“The crowd in our gym was fantastic,” said Coach James Hecht. “It was a great high school experience.”
Chino Hills has a 26-2 record. Samohi is 22-6 and is seeded only eighth. With the unexpected low seed Samohi has to play the division favorite early in the tournament.
The game will provide the answer to whether Samohi deserved to be seeded higher.
“We rarely talk about seedings because in oeder to win the tournament you have to eventually beat whatever good teams you’re scheduled against,” said Hecht. “But we are using this seeding as motivation.
“We feel Chino Hills is a very good team and so are we.”
Chino Hills is led by Derek Brown, a four-year starter at point guard who has committed to play at San Jose State.
Loyola is the No. 2 seed and Bay League champion Leuzinger is No. 3.
After winning its first five games, Chino Hills lost the next two but has won all the rest, mostly by lopsided scores.
Two years ago Chino Hills eliminated Samohi in the tournament quarter-finals.
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