Arman Zadeh, sports editor
The Normans completed their sweep of Samo on Friday night in front of a crowd packed with both Beverly and Samo supporters. At Santa Monica High School, Beverly ousted the Vikings for the second time this season, 58-45, to take sole possession of first place in the Ocean League with a record of 7-1.
With 34 points from point guard Siavash Yektafar, the Normans capitalized on the many mistakes of the Vikings early on, preventing Samo from putting double digits onto their scoreboard until midway through the second quarter. Samo had difficulty penetrating Beverly’s air tight defense which was highlighted by a pair of big blocks from center Ronan Massana during fast-break attempts from Samo. Their inability to penetrate Beverly’s defense contributed to the 13-5 lead Beverly held after one quarter and 12 point deficit at the half.
In the second half, Samo responded with a full court press which cut Beverly’s lead to as little as four points. Head coach Jarvis Turner, however, was prepared for the situation.
“We knew it was coming,” Turner said. “The fact that we were able to sustain their run and still win by 13 points just shows the character of our young men and how determined they were to win the game.”
Although he saw unquestionably impressive play from the squad, Turner was not surprised by its performance at all. Heading into the game versus Samo, Turner was “extremely confident” in his team’s ability to beat its arch rival.
“We know Samo’s our rival and we felt we were the better team. We just had to go out and prove that,” Turner said.
Coming off their victory against Samo, the Normans faced Inglewood for their second matchup with the Sentinels this season. Earlier this season, Inglewood handed Beverly its sole loss against an Ocean League rival. On Tuesday, the Sentinels took their second victory over Beverly, 49-41, and put an end to Beverly’s four game win streak.
Inglewood continued a win streak (3) of its own heading into Tuesday night’s matchup, improving to a 7-2 league record. Beverly, Inglewood and Samo are now tied for the top spot in the Ocean League with records of 7-2.
Beverly’s next game is Thursday night against Culver City in the Swim Gym. The Normans won 60-56 in the team’s previous matchup with Culver on Jan. 29. This is the team’s final and arguably most important league game as it decides if Beverly will place first in and win the Ocean League.