PHOENIX, Ariz. — Santa Monica High School’s girls’ basketball team lost for the second time at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona on Monday, this time to Colorado’s Highlands Ranch, 71-53.

“We didn’t come to play today,” Head Coach Marty Verdugo said. “In this tournament, we have to come to work.”

The Samohi Vikings came out slow in the first half, entering half-time down, 38-17. He said his girls picked it up in the second half, but it was too late to mount a legitimate comeback.

Samohi’s Moriah Faulk and Kristina “KJ” Johnson led the Vikings with 13 points each.

The Vikings, playing in the Joe Smith Elite Division, lost on Saturday to Bolingbrook of Illinois. Bolingbrook entered the game ranked No. 2 in the nation by USA Today. The Joe Smith bracket also includes the nation’s top team, Santa Ana Mater Dei.

The loss sends Samohi to 9-2 this season.

Next for Samohi at the tourney is a matchup with St. Mary’s Catholic High School from Ontario, Canada. That game takes place today at 6:30 p.m. at Perry High School in Phoenix.

daniela@www.smdp.com

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