THEA LEMBERGER: The Vikings’ leading scorer has a scholarship to UCLA. Played on the varsity as a much smaller freshman but is now 5-foot-7 and adept at breaking down defenses. In describing the progress of Samohi girls’ basketball over the last six or so years, Coach Marty Verdugo lists the arrival of Lemberger as a key element.
KRISTINA JOHNSON: Smaller than Lemberger, Johnson frequently handles point guard duties. Her speed and pressing ability are important to the defense. Not the team’s main star but an important part of what the Vikings have accomplished.
LILLY FEDER: A senior captain, she has contributed greatly to the team’s success, as did her sister Daisy in previous years. “She’s been a clutch shooter and very important to our defense,” said Verdugo. “If a shot is missed she gets back on defense quickly and becomes our safety. As a result, in the second half of the season we gave up very few transition baskets.”
MORIAH FAULK: The mid-season transfer from Desert Vista High in the Phoenix area tried to fit in at first but was encouraged by Verdugo to assert herself offensively. In the most recent game she was the high scorer with 20 points. “She makes spectacular plays that bring fans to their feet,” said Verdugo. “We knew she was good but she’s been better than we thought.” After playing one game at guard, the 5-foot-11 Faulk was moved to forward, where she has made the Vikings a better rebounding team.
BIANKA BALTIZAR: Also a mid-season transfer from Desert Vista High, Baltizar adds another premier 5-foot-11 player to the lineup. Unlike Faulk, Baltizar grew up in Santa Monica before the family moved to Arizona. Her transfer application was initially rejected, but Verdugo credits Chris Harding, father of former Samohi star Jennie Harding, who is now a prominent player at Williams College, for informing the CIF of the circumstances as the family moved back to Santa Monica. At that pount Baltizar became eligible. Verdugo points out Faulk and Baltizar are the only transfers to join the team in his four years as coach.
BRIANNA HARRIS: The freshman started some games when Faulk was out with a knee injury, and Verdugo anticipates she’ll become a star Viking player in the next few years.
Mirror Sports Editor