After entering the season ranked as one of the top teams in the nation, the Westchester High School boys basketball team dropped its second game of the season with a 49-41 loss to Christ the King High School of Middle Village, N.Y. in the Academy National Invitational championship Thursday, December 30th.

The Comets (5-2) are considered one of the nation’s top teams with one of the toughest schedules in the country, and Westchester is seeing just how challenging its season could be.

Westchester started the season ranked as the nation’s number one team by USA Today, but has since fallen to number 12 on the USA Today list.

In their first seven games this season, the Comets have faced three of the top teams in the country, losing two of the games.

Westchester first fell short 53-52 to Dominguez High School in the championship of the Westchester Tip-Off Classic Saturday, December 11th.

The Comets then headed to the Academy National Invitational in Houston, reaching the final game against Christ the King after a tough semifinal win over DeMatha High School of Hyattsville, Maryland, which was ranked 18th by USA Today.

Senior guard Marcus Johnson scored 20 points in the victory over DeMatha and junior guard Ahmaad Cook added 11 points.

After getting through a big obstacle against DeMatha, the Comets had one more challenge to tackle against Christ the King, but came up short.

Westchester trailed 10-5 after the first quarter and was unable to take control of the battle.

Marcus Johnson led the Comets with 14 points and four steals, and senior guard Gerard Moret contributed 11 points and three steals in the loss.

Western League play begins for the Comets at home against Palisades High School at 4 p.m. Wednesday, January 12th.

In other boys basketball games:

The St. Bernard High School Vikings took home fifth place in the Redondo Beach Seahawk Classic after a 59-48 victory over Millikan High School Thursday, December 30th.

St. Bernard junior center John Lucas had 11 rebounds and a team-high 12 points, scoring ten points in the fourth quarter. Junior forward Vince Hill finished with ten points in the victory for the Vikings (10-5).

Del Rey League play begins for St. Bernard at Serra High School at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 7th.

The Santa Monica High School Vikings finished in ninth place at the Santa Barbara Holiday Classic tournament after defeating Westlake High School 77-71 Thursday, December 30th.

Senior forward Jason Deutchman scored 32 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to help lead Santa Monica to victory.

The Vikings (9-3) are currently leading the Ocean League and will play their first league game at home against Morningside High School Wednesday, January 12th.

Venice High School lost 78-69 to Sanger High School in the Buchanan/Clovis West Invitational tournament Wednesday, December 29th.

The Gondoliers (2-7) will open Western League play at home against University High School at 4 p.m. Wednesday, January 12th.

In girls basketball games:

Venice High School earned fifth place in the Roosevelt Tournament after a 52-42 victory over Lincoln High School Friday, December 31st.

The Gondoliers (7-4) will next begin Western League play at University High School at 4 p.m. Wednesday, January 12th.

The Santa Monica High School Vikings won convincingly over Redwood High School 44-17 in the Nike San Marcos Holiday Hoopfest tournament Wednesday, December 29th.

The Vikings (8-4) are currently in second place in the Ocean League and will start league play at Morningside High School at 6 p.m. Wednesday, January 12th.

The St. Monica High School Mariners were defeated 38-24 by Santa Barbara High School in the Ayala Christmas Tournament Friday, December 31st.

The Mariners (8-7) will next begin Camino Real League play at home against Cantwell-Sacred Heart High School at 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 11th.