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Boys' basketball: It's time to rally the community for Santa Monica-Pali game

March 7, 2013 | 11:20 am


Santa Monica and Palisades are 4.7 miles apart. There used to be a trophy awarded to the winner of the Santa Monica-Palisades basketball game.

“It was the Bay Area shootout,” Palisades Coach James Paleno said. “They had this bell that fell off the pier. They mounted it. We won a few in a row and stopped scheduling it. The bell is in our trophy case. It still rings.”

It might be time to bring out the bell again, because Santa Monica and Palisades are set to play on Saturday night at Santa Monica in a 7 o'clock second-round CIF Southern California Division I playoff game at Santa Monica.

Surfers should rejoice when these two beach schools meet. Except there’s no surfers on either team except for Palisades’ Chambers twins, Colton and Dakota.

“They moved here from Arizona and were so excited we had a surf class,” Paleno said.

Paleno and Santa Monica Coach James Hecht have known each other for so long that they used to play in an adult basketball league. Hecht, a former Cal State Northridge standout, supposedly knows how to throw elbows when needed.

It should be a fun game for the community. Palisades upset Mission Viejo in the first round. Santa Monica’s Jordan Mathews scored 37 points in a win over Narbonne.

“I don’t know if you can stop Jordan Mathews,” Paleno said. “You try to slow him down a little.”

And the Chambers twins will surely hit the surf on Sunday, win or lose.

-- Eric Sondheimer

Photo: The Chambers twins are featured in an ad for Coca-Cola. Credit: Coca-Cola.