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Dana Hills can't recover against Santa Monica
SANTA MONICA – It didn't take long for Dana Hills coach Tom Desiano to realize what he had expected coming into the game.
Santa Monica, led by its relentless ball pressure and quickness, took firm control of Tuesday's CIF-SS Division 1A semifinal against Dana Hills in the second period.
In the end, the second-seeded Vikings (24-6) advanced to Saturday's final with a 60-41 home victory over the sixth-seeded Dolphins (23-8).
Santa Monica will face top-seeded El Toro in the finals Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center. El Toro defeated Crescenta Valley in the other semifinal.
"That's a great team," Desiano said. "They proved it. It is one thing to look at them on tape and it is one thing to scout them, but until you're on the court, you realize their quickness and their aggressiveness."
The game didn't get off to a good start for the Dolphins as the Vikings scored the first 12 points. Dana Hills didn't score its first points of until 3:51 was left in the opening period.
Dana Hills trailed 16-12 after James Taylor scored the first basket in the second period. Then the Dolphins were hit by an avalanche.
Jordan Matthews scored the next seven points for the Vikings for a 23-12 lead. Matthews, who is headed to Cal, scored 14 points in the period, helping the Vikings to the 40-15 halftime lead.
"We didn't come out like we wanted to play," Desiano said.
The Dolphins turned in a much better effort in the third period, outscoring the Vikings, 18-12.
"We came out and played like we normally would play in the second half," Desiano said. "By that time we're down and it was tough for us to come back.
"Give them credit, they were fantastic."
Jack Clendenen led Dana Hills with 11 points. Cory Blau and Hayden Fredick scored 10 and nine, respectively.
Dana Hills will find out Sunday if it is selected to play in the CIF Regional playoffs.
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