For Santa Monica High School assistant boys basketball coach Brian Part, there was only one way to describe the feeling after his team’s epic, double-overtime road win over Hawthorne on Jan. 26.
“The proverbial monkey is off our back,” Part said.
With the 83-75, double-overtime victory, the Vikings (7-13; 1-4) not only earned their first Ocean League win, but they snapped a seven-game losing streak in the process.
“Nothing was going to be given to us, we had to go out and take it,” Part said. “To get our first win in the league, it was going to come in a war like this.”
What made the victory all the more remarkable was that three Samohi players, including the team’s leader and top scorer, sophomore guard Jordan Matthews, was battling the flu. Center Spencer Cramer had 18 points for the Vikings, most of them in the second half. More importantly, he was 6-6 from the free throw line in the final minutes of regulation and in overtime.
As Matthews played limited minutes, forward Holden Foshag and Logan Foster made some of their “biggest shots of the year” towards the end of regulation and in overtime, Part said.
The win means a lot to Part as well as the players, given the fact they play Inglewood Jan. 28 and Harvard-Westlake on Jan. 29 with the possibility of still making the playoffs not that farfetched.
“The guys are fired up to play Inglewood,” Part said. “Last time we played, we got off to a bad start. We actually won the second half [of that game] … The second half of the league is really the heart of the season for a young team. Now the guys know what to expect, you’ll get a good gauge of the potential of this team.
“While we don’t look too far ahead, we still have a shot at the playoffs,” he added.