It is one of the greatest victories in James Hecht’s 16 years as the Santa Monica High boys basketball coach.
The eighth-seeded Vikings went to Chino Hills Tuesday night and upset the top seed, 40-39. Samohi moves on to the Division 1A semi-finals Friday night.
It seemed that Samohi was seeded too low after winning 15 of its last 16 games entering the playoffs. There was no dispute about Chino Hills being No. 1 because it had a 26-2 record.
Both teams had gone undefeated in their leagues and rather than complain about the low seeding, Hecht said he would use it as motivation.
“We thought Chino Hills is a fine team and we’re a fine team and whoever executes best would win the game,” he said.
There was no reason for the Vikings to be intimidated because their suffocating pressure defense had consistently caused problems for opponents.
The starting five of Solomon Singer, James Montgomery, Harry Horn, Cory Walker and Danilo Toscovic was athletic and experienced.
Now Samohi will try to win a CIF championship for the first time with Hecht as coach.
Mirror Sports Editorsports@smmirror.com