The Santa Monica boys basketball team hasn’t lost a game in more than two months. But now is when the winning streak really matters.
The Vikings, who stormed their way to an Ocean League title with an undefeated record in conference play, enter the Division 1A playoffs Wednesday night at home against Long Beach-Cabrillo.
The winner advances to Friday night’s second round against either Rialto or Moreno Valley-Valley View.
This year’s postseason gives Samohi (24-2) an opportunity to distance itself from the 2014-15 campaign, when it fell to Los Angeles-Roosevelt in the first round of the Division 1AA bracket.
The ascent of senior Jonah Mathews has made the Vikings a formidable opponent this year. So has the team’s attention to detail in its defensive rotations, the star guard said. And so has the squad’s cohesiveness.
“Everybody has bought in,” said Mathews, who will play at USC next year. “Last year, we didn’t buy into what we had to do. … We share the ball. We’re all a family.”
Two other local boys basketball teams qualified for postseason play.
Crossroads (10-16), which earned an at-large bid from the Gold Coast League, will face Long Beach-St. Anthony on the road Wednesday night in Division 4A. The winner advances to the second round Friday.
New Roads (9-8), the fourth-place team from the Coastal League, will meet Santa Barbara-Laguna Blanca in the Division 5A first round Wednesday. The second round will pit the winner against San Juan Capistrano-Valley Christian.
Three local teams advanced to the CIF-SS girls basketball playoffs.
Crossroads (17-11), an at-large bid from the Gold Coast League, will play Thursday at Carpinteria in the first round of the Division 4A bracket.
St. Monica Catholic (17-8), the No. 2 team out of the Camino Real League, enters the Division 4AA bracket at home Thursday against Rowland Heights-Southlands Christian.
Pacifica Christian will battle Canoga Park-Faith Baptist in the Division 5A first round Thursday. The Seawolves (6-8) made the postseason as an at-large selection from the Liberty League.
Winners advance to Saturday’s second round.
Girls water polo
In the final poll of the season, the Santa Monica girls water polo team was ranked No. 1 in Division 6. Now it’s up to the Vikings to prove their standing.
Samohi (26-3), which cruised to a fourth consecutive Ocean League title, enters the playoffs Thursday afternoon at home against either Morro Bay or Pasadena-Poly. The winner advances to Saturday’s quarterfinals.
The Vikings are seeking an extended postseason run after falling in the semifinals last year.
A third-straight conference title was nice, but the Santa Monica girls soccer team feels there’s more work to do.
After securing another Ocean League championship, the Vikings (12-6-3) will enter the first round of the Division 4 playoffs at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at home against La Reina.
The winner advances to the second round Feb. 23.
St. Monica Catholic also qualified for the postseason, falling 3-1 to Sierra Madre-Alverno in a Division 7 wild-card match Feb. 16.
Crossroads boys soccer coach Federico Bianchi said earlier this season that his team is young but experienced, and so far he’s been right.
The Roadrunners (14-2-3) won the Gold Coast championship and will will host St. Genevieve on Friday afternoon in the first round of the Division 5 playoffs.
The winner plays Feb. 24 against either Hemet or Lawndale-Environmental Charter.