Culver City High boys’ basketball coach Jonathan Chapman wasn’t all that surprised with how last week went for the Centaurs.
Culver City lost both of its games last week, Ocean League contests to Santa Monica and Inglewood, and Chapman had foreshadowed it all by saying as the week began that the biggest way to get his team to recognize its complacent play was if “we lose both games.”
So after a 59-58 loss to Santa Monica at home and a 61-49 loss at Inglewood, Chapman was ready to meet with his team at the beginning of this week and reassess where the Centaurs stand.
“I’m going to tell (the players) that we’re not as good as we think we are, and we can be better than we think we are,” Chapman said.
Culver City was 18-6 overall and 5-3 in league (and tied for second place with Morningside) heading into this week, and despite the two losses, the Centaurs were still a virtual lock to make it to the postseason.
Chapman stressed the importance of finishing the regular season this week against Hawthorne (on the road) and Beverly Hills (at home) on a high note, not so much for the league race but to get some momentum back for the CIF playoffs, which begin next week.
“I’d like to win both games and finish in second place in league, and we’d have 20 wins overall, but that would be like dessert, not the main course,”
Chapman said. “I really want to generate some momentum for the playoffs. The playoffs are the most important thing.”
Culver got its 19th win Tuesday night by winning at Hawthorne, 60-51.
Against Santa Monica, the Centaurs fell behind by 17 points in the second quarter and slowly fought back, getting to within a point in the final seconds.
But a turnover and a missed shot thwarted Culver City’s chances.
Keilan Horton scored 19 points to lead the Centaurs, while Darren Johnson and Aamahd Walker each scored 13.
Against Inglewood -- which had defeated the Centaurs by 23 points earlier in
the season -- Culver City took a 19-16 lead after the first quarter and stayed close for much of the game. But Inglewood had 17 offensive rebounds that proved to be the difference.
Johnson scored 18 points for Culver City, while Walker had 13 and Horton added 12.
“We felt that we had a chance against Inglewood because they hadn’t been shooting the ball really well, but when you give them so many second chances, you’re in trouble,” Chapman said.
Chapman said his team needs to refocus on offense and defense.
“Offensively, we really have to state what our focus is, not just pass the ball around a few times and then chuck it up,” he said. “Defensively, we have to