SANTA ANA — Santa Monica High School girls’ basketball team’s season came to an end Thursday night following a 57-41 loss at Mater Dei High School in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section state playoffs.
UCLA-bound Moriah Faulk tallied 20 points and 9 rebounds in her last game in a Vikings uniform, 9 of them coming during the final stretch of the game. She was 3 of 6 from the three-point line and a perfect 5 of 5 from the free throw line. Briana Harris added 14 points and 4 rebounds for Samohi.
“I hate losing,” Faulk said. “I had to leave it all on the court … It hurts because I’m done with high school basketball.”
The game was also Marty Verdugo’s last as Samohi head coach. He said he was proud of the Vikings’ effort against a taller and stronger team in Mater Dei.
“We couldn’t beat them but we were mentioned in the same breath,” he said. “I gave my heart and soul [to Samohi girls’ basketball program] for five years … . I feel content and at peace.”
Mater Dei outscored the Vikings in all but the fourth quarter. After a 10-8 score after the first, the Monarchs kept Samohi to 4 points in the second, extending the lead going into half-time 22-12. In the second half, Mater Dei continued their offensive prowess, outscoring Samohi 20-10.
“They’re a tough team,” said Kristina Johnson, who will be a freshman at the University of Pacific this fall. “We fought to stay in the game. They were too big.”
Johnson said her emotions were “up and down” after the loss. “There’s nothing I can do about it now. I’m proud of my team.”
The Vikings end the 2010-11 campaign 23-10 (8-2).