SAMOHI — Santa Monica High School’s boys’ basketball team’s strong week to open the Ocean League helped the Vikings retain its No. 5 ranking in the latest CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA poll, it was announced on Tuesday.

Wins over Inglewood and Culver City have Samohi in a first place tie in league as it prepares to take on rivals Beverly Hills on Wednesday on the road and Morningside at home on Friday. Both games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

The game against Beverly Hills will be for first place as both teams sit at 2-0.

Samohi players are encouraging their fans to make the trip to Beverly Hills. The rivalry has always been a popular draw for both schools in all sports.

“It’s a big week,” Head Coach James Hecht said. “All games are big at this stage of the season.

“Hopefully we can put something together.”

The latest outing for the Vikings wasn’t quite as successful. Samohi lost to Serra on Monday, 63-56. Serra is currently ranked No. 4 in the CIF-SS Division 4AA poll.

Pacifica Christian ranked

Pacifica Christian’s boys’ basketball sits at No. 7 in the latest CIF-SS Division 5A poll, which was released on Tuesday.

The Seawolves are 6-8 overall and 2-0 in the Heritage League.

Pacifica Christian took on Milken on Tuesday, but results were not available at presstime.

Samohi girls rebounding from big loss

The Vikings are hoping to bounce back from a 64-36 drubbing at the hands of Orange Lutheran on Monday as they prepare to continue Ocean League play in girls’ basketball.

Head Coach Marty Verdugo said that his girls came out flat against Orange Lutheran, struggling to find their rhythm all night.

“I think it was a wake up call,” Verdugo said. “We got comfortable thinking we were where we wanted to be as a team.”

Samohi was coming off a 1-1 showing to open league play last week. The Vikings topped Inglewood on Wednesday, and lost a close contest to Culver City on Friday.

Verdugo hoped that would prepare his team for the tough non-league game with Orange Lutheran. It didn’t pan out as Samohi rebuilds after years of dominating the league.

This week’s games against Beverly Hills on Wednesday on the road and Morningside Friday at home give his Vikings a chance to tune up before their annual Westside Challenge on Saturday when the Vikings will face Ventura.

“I never won in our extravaganza,” Verdugo said. “I asked the girls if they could win this one as a favor to me.”

daniela@www.smdp.com

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