It’s a new season and a new era for the Culver City High boy’s basketball program.
Jon Chapman, the Centaurs’ head coach the last seven years, has given up the position to concentrate on being the school’s assistant principal.
Adam Eskridge, Chapman’s assistant, moves up to head coach.
Culver began its season in a 79-65 loss to Brentwood Monday in the Mira Costa Pacific Shores Tournament. Culver fell far behind early in the game, relied on its pressing defense to get closer, but couldn’t make it all the way back.
Senior Julius Wilson was the Centaurs’ high scorer and drew praise from Eskridge.
Asked to evaluate the Centaurs’ personnel for the new coach, Chapman provided his thoughts.
“The team won’t have a real big man but Adam will have depth and quickness on the roster. The good thing is that not many opponents have great size either.
“Small, fast teams often are high-scoring teams and Eskridge may substitute often to keep a fresh unit on the court. This team has the potential to score in bunches.”
With the graduation of Aamahd Walker and Keilan Horton, the Centaurs’ primary scorers last season, it remains to be seen who will emerge in that role now.
The tallest player is 6-foot-6 junior David Handler, who was the Centaurs’ backup quarterback during football season. Leland King, who is 6-foot-4, had an impressive game in the opener.
As for the Ocean League, Santa Monica and Inglewood, both returning the majority of their best players from last season, are considered the league’s co-favorites.
In contrast to Culver’s head coach being in his first season, Santa Monica’s James Hecht is beginning his 19th year. When Santa Monica began its season Monday night with a 70-36 win at Torrance, it was Hecht’s 300th victory at Santa Monica.