PERRIS — Santa Monica’s girls traveled deep into the Inland Empire on Saturday with hopes of returning to the third round of the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division 1A basketball playoffs.

They got their wish by beating Perris, 75-50.

The Vikings used a 29-9 first quarter to dispatch Perris from the second round, punching their own ticket to the third round for a fourth straight season. Samohi lost in the semifinals last season.

“It went as planned,” Head Coach Marty Verdugo said. “We had our best offensive first quarter of the season.”

The 29-9 first quarter ended in Samohi’s favor, but the first few minutes showed few signs of what was to come. Samohi came out to a hostile crowd and a home team shooting its way to an early 8-2 lead, forcing Verdugo to call a time-out.

“They were making threes on their home court like most teams do,” he said. “I just told them to clamp down on the press. We took them out of their comfort zone.”

UCLA-bound Thea Lemberger led the Vikings with 21. Verdugo also singled out point guard Kristina Johnson and shooting guard Lilly Feder as major factors in the win. He said that Johnson’s handling of the ball and distribution, and Feder’s timely shooting helped his team erase the early deficit.

“Those two players have been a big key to helping us maintain a balanced attack,” he said.

Next up for Samohi is a home game against Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

St. Monica boys sent home

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The boys basketball team from St. Monica lost to Paraclete 82-73 on Friday during the second found of the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs.

St. Monica ends the season 18-10 overall and 9-1 in Camino Real League play.

Mariners lose close one

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St. Monica’s girls basketball team lost a heartbreaker 40-39 to Campbell Hall during the second round of the CIF-SS Division 5 playoffs.

St. Monica completes the season with a 15-14 overall record. The team went 3-5 in Camino Real League play.

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