Ben Shofet, graphics editor
The Normans will be facing off against the Samo Vikings for the second time this season, in their 19th game of the regular season on Friday, Jan. 23. So far, the Normans are undefeated in their two Ocean League games, and boast a 13-5 record in their overall season.
This year, the boys varsity basketball team acquired 6’10” senior Chance Comanche, committed to play D-1 basketball at the University of Arizona. However, Comanche will not be the tallest player on the court; Samo’s 6’11” Jayce Johnson will be put up against Comanche.
The Normans are aware that they need to “step up” for their greatest rival.
“Having Chance on our team gives us great confidence going into the game because we know how great of a player he is. It also means that Samo will most likely be playing one of their best games, because it’s a rivalry,” power forward Jalen Sands said.
For the seniors on the varsity team, this will likely be their final chance to beat Samo on their home court. Last year, the Normans swept Samo in both of their league contests. And having beat Samo in their first matchup of this season, the team is “ready” to end their Beverly basketball careers ahead of their rivals at Samo.
“Playing them one last time at Samo makes me think about the memories I had playing there and how I will never play there again. I’m looking forward to seeing all our fans at the game and getting one last ‘dub’ at Samo,” shooting guard Ryan Manoocheri said.
With the acquisition of Comanche, as well as improvement by core players shooting guard Trevor Bergher, power forward Sands and point guard Navid Rafalian, the team hopes to matchup with the Samo squad.
“I’m looking forward to having fun playing with my teammates and I’m also looking forward to seeing our fans cheering us on as we look to beat Samo,” Sands said.
Beverly’s next home game against Samo will be on Beverly’s Senior Night, Feb. 10.