Briana Harris goes up for a shot while players of CSHM scream and try to block her shot. St. Monicas would go on to win the game 59-48 to win their conference. Photo by Paul Alvarez Jr. (photo by Paul Alvarez Jr.)

ST. MONICA — For the first time in a decade, St. Monica’s girls’ basketball team can call themselves league champs.

A 59-48 win over Cantwell-Sacred Heart on Thursday led the way to the Camino Real League crown.

“We feel great,” Head Coach John Skinner said. “It’s been a long process, but the fact is we’re getting the program going in the right direction.”

As has been the case much of the season, junior Briana Harris led the way to victory for the Mariners. She filled the stat book with 32 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out 5 assists and, for good measure, had 6 steals.

Freshman Liyah Lewis added 11 points and junior Melissa Maragnes had 8 points and 8 rebounds.

The win over Cantwell-Sacred Heart sent St. Monica to 17-10 overall and 6-2 in league. The Mariners technically finish the season with the same record as La Salle, but St. Monica owns the head-to-head tiebreaker, having dispatched La Salle in both meetings this season.

Next for St. Monica is the announcement of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4A playoff seedings on Sunday.

Samohi boys make championship official

Santa Monica High School’s boy’s basketball team breezed to a 71-37 win at Hawthorne on Thursday to make the league title they clinched on Tuesday official.

The Vikings entered the game with a possibility that they would finish the season tied with Inglewood for the Ocean League title, but a tie-breaker would have given Samohi the official championship either way. The only thing identical records would have done is give Inglewood the right to claim a co-championship, but the CIF-SS would have recognized Samohi as the league’s top team.

That scenario never came to be as Samohi won and Inglewood fell to Morningside, also on Thursday.

“It’s a great way to end the regular season,” Head Coach James Hecht said. “Now our sights are set on the [Division] 1AA playoffs.”

Samohi girls clinch second place

Samohi’s girls’ basketball team was able to avoid a possible extra game to decide their playoff fate by besting Hawthorne, 55-48, on the road Thursday.

The Vikings entered the game facing a potential three-way tie for second place in the Ocean League, but avoided any entanglements by securing a win that cements Samohi as the second place finisher behind undefeated Culver City. Inglewood finished the regular season by securing third place and the league’s final automatic playoff bid.

“Hopefully we’re peaking at the right time,” Head Coach Marty Verdugo said. “This should get us more prepared for playoff pressure.”

Samohi completes the season 7-3 in league as they await the release of the playoff seedings.

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