Sam Bernstein managing editor
The varsity girls basketball team lost their rivalry game against the Santa Monica Vikings tonight by a score of 60 to 29. As a result of the loss, the Normans record fell under .500 to (8-9) and SAMO’s record improved to (13-7).
Before the game, the team received their championship rings commemorating their 2018 CIF-SS championship. Fans of both schools gave junior Chantal Moawad a loud ovation when her name was called, as the former Norman transferred to SAMO for the 2018-19 school year. Moawad did not suit up to play her former team.
This game was the Normans’ second game without junior Arbri Gillis. Gillis, the primary scorer for the team over their two championship runs, transferred out of the district over winter break. Their first game without Gillis was a win over the Hawthorne Cougars, 36-10.
The Normans started out hot in the first quarter, after sophomore guard Deena Shadi stole the ball on Santa Monica’s first possession and connected on a contested fast break layup. The Vikings proceeded to go on a 7-2 run, using their physicality to overwhelm the Normans. The Normans couldn’t keep the ball in their hands, turning it over several times in the quarter. After an exciting 7-2 run of their own, the Normans went into the second quarter tied at nine.
Both teams started off the second quarter going punch for punch. After the Vikings went on a 4-0 run to begin the period, the Normans equalized with a 4-0 run of their own. After the Normans tied the game up at 14, the Vikings went on an 18-1 run in the second half of the quarter. The Vikings dominated the Normans in every facet of the game, most notably in transition. Beverly Hills couldn’t get the ball across half court, getting their passes picked off or the ball taken away nearly every single time the team came up the floor. After the Vikings forced several turnovers, they were able to capitalize on easy fast break opportunities, pushing the lead further and further away from the Normans’ reach. The half ended with SAMO up 32-14.
Beverly was able to cut the lead down in the first few minutes of the second half, going on a 7-3 run to begin the quarter. The Normans didn’t connect on a shot for the rest of the quarter, entering the fourth quarter down 44-21.
The Vikings started off the fourth with 10 points uncontested. Junior forward Genevieve Zar scored Beverly’s first two points of the half, going two for two at the free throw line. Shadi added to this effort, knocking down two free throws herself before stealing the ball off of the inbounds pass and drawing a hard foul in the paint. Shadi wasn’t finished quite yet, stealing another inbound pass just a minute later and immediately putting it in the hoop, capping off an 8-4 run. Unfortunately for the Normans, this wasn’t nearly enough, as the team went on to lose in blowout fashion.
The Normans follow up a rivalry game with another rivalry game, facing the Culver City Centaurs in Culver City. The game tips off at 6 p.m.