With its 15th consecutive victory secured Saturday night, the Santa Monica High School girls basketball team is one win away from appearing in its first-ever state championship game.
Samohi is now set to take the 4-mile trip up Pacific Coast Highway to Palisades Charter High School to play in the finals of the CIF Southern California Regionals. The winner of tonight’s match-up, which begins at 5 p.m. in Palisades’ gym, will secure a trip to Sacramento where it will represent Southern California in the state championship game.
Samohi’s 8-point lead at the end of the first quarter during Saturday’s semifinals match-up against San Clemente High School was pivotal to the team’s victory.
Both teams scored 14 points in the second, bringing the score to 27-19 at the close of the first half. Missed shots on the perimeter and foul trouble in the third quarter plagued both sides but Samohi managed to retain its 8-point lead heading into the final period.
Strong inside play helped the Vikings extend their lead to 13 by the middle of the fourth, but the Tritons continued to fight and eventually closed the gap as they found themselves down only 5 with less than a minute left in the game.
Like the contest prior, Santa Monica needed to hit its free throws if it wanted to advance. And that’s exactly what it did as it closed out the game shooting 80% from the line in the fourth.
The Vikings would eventually win 47-39, which helped make Head Coach Doug Kim’s birthday cake at the conclusion of the game that much sweeter.