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Boys' basketball: A sendoff for Santa Monica on its way to Sacramento

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The Santa Monica boys' basketball team is scheduled to board a chartered bus to Sacramento at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday and receive a community sendoff on its way to play in the CIF state championship Division I game on Friday at 8 p.m. against Elk Grove Pleasant Grove at Sleep Train Arena.

Coach James Hecht said he's hoping to bring back a first state championship so that the school and community can celebrate.

The 6-foot-6 Hecht has been Santa Monica's coach for 19 years. He grew up in Santa Monica, attended St. Monica High and was a standout basketball player at Cal State Northridge.

He said it has been a special season.

There have been many contributors, starting with Jordan Mathews, who's averaging 24.6 points. Chris Smith is averaging 10 rebounds and three blocks.

Point guard Trevis Jackson, who's also the school's student body president, is averaging 9.5 points and five assists.

Three-point specialist Troy Maloney is averaging 7.6 points. Erron Vaughn is averaging 6.7 points and four rebounds.

The team has spent months preparing for this moment, all the way back to last spring.

-- Eric Sondheimer

Photo: Students gather for a community sendoff as the Santa Monica High boys' basketball team leaves Thursday for the state championships in Sacramento. Credit: Martin Ledford / Santa Monica High

 
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