The Santa Monica High boys are going to the CIF Division 1A basketball championship game.
In their furthest advancement in James Hecht’s 16 years as the Vikings’ coach Samohi won its semi-final game Friday night from Colony High of Ontario, 70-53 at Santa Monica College.
The championship game will be against Bay League champion Leuzinger on Saturday, March 6 at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Leuzinger won the other semi-final Friday night from Loyola, 72-59.
There will be championship games in six divisions that day and the order of games has not been announced.
Samohi has been motivated by a surprisingly low No. 8 seed despite finishing the regular season with 15 wins in its last 16 games. First the Vikings won on the home court of No. 1 seed Chino Hills, then they dispatched No. 4 seed Colony.
Opponents have had one thing in common. They haven’t solved Samohi’s smothering full court press. The starting five of Solomom Singer, James Montgomery, Harry Horn, Cory Walker and Danilo Toscovic are between 6-foot-2 and 6-foot-4 and extremely athletic.
Without being critical of the CIF for the low seed Hecht has been respectful but said he would use iy as motivation.
“We lost three of our first four games and maybe they took that into consideration,” he said. “But whatever the seeding we have to beat the good teams regardless of which round it is.”
Had the seeding been accurate Samohi would have lost in the third round. Instead it is going further than last season when the Vikings lost in the semi-finals.
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