For the first time in Santa Monica High history, a CIF championship banner in girls basketball will hang in the gymnasium.
The Samohi girls accomplished their season-long goal by defeating Summit High of Fontana, 69-63 Thursday night at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana.
Both teams will advance to the state tournament beginning Tuesday night, and Samohi coach Marty Verdugo is hopeful the Vikings will receive a first round home game.
Moriah Faulk, a transfer who wasn’t yet at Samohi when it lost to Summit, 40-39 early in December, was the high scorer in the championship game with 19 points. She had 14 in the second half.
Guard Thea Lemberger, who is committed to play at UCLA next season, scored 16 and backcourt partner Kristina Johnson contributed 14.
The Vikings overcame some hot shooting as one Summit player made five three-point attempts.
“We talked about getting that banner 10 months ago,” said Verdugo. “There’s a place for it next to our scoreboard and I’d point up there.”
The championship came in the 1-A Division. The last Santa Monica school to win a CIF basketball championship was Crossroads. The Roadruunner girls won the 5-A title three seasons ago.
The Santa Monica High boys will play for the 1-A championship Saturday at 2:15 p.m., opposing Leuzinger High at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
This is the first time both Viking teams have reached the CIF championship game in the same season.
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