Centaur Boys Win Two League Games In A Row


February 4, 2016

George Laase

Isaiah Benson - Centaur starting guard

The 2015-16 Culver City High boys basketball team just may have turned the corner in Ocean League play. The Centaurs have won two out of three games after having suffered three tough league losses opening the season.

The Centaurs' most impressive win of the year came at Lawndale High on Friday, January 29. It was a tight-scoring affair that got sabotaged when Culver scored 32 points in the third quarter to blow the game wide open for a very satisfying 79-61 win.

Ten Centaurs scored as they rediscovered the offense they had primed leading into the league season. A full-court pressure defense combined with a fast-penetrating offense knocked the Cardinals off-balance. Culver avenged an earlier season loss at home, 61-50, to Lawndale.

The Centaurs fell behind early 9-4, then 13-6 before they made a late run to reduce the lead to 20-15. Anthony Wheatle hit two 3-pointers. Lyndon Walker, Isaiah Benson, Nicky Green and Miles Elrington each hit baskets while Deven Osborne hit a free throw to measure the first quarter.

The second quarter served as a primer for the third quarter. Eight Centaurs contributed for 19 points. Kyle Johnson hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to bring Culver to within one point, 35-34, at halftime.

The third quarter began with Johnson scoring on a layup. Benson nailed a 3-pointer and then drove for a baseline layup. Culver had a 41-35 lead. Isaiah Njoku hit a 3-pointer. Elrington two-handed slammed one home.

The third quarter tally: Njoku scored eight points, Benson seven, Green two, Johnson nine including two 3-pointers, Elrington four and Malik McLinn two. Lawndale suddenly trailed by 20 points, 66-46. The home crowd was stunned.

The fourth quarter saw both teams trade baskets as the lead rarely fluctuated. Walker, Njoku, Johnson and McLinn contributed to the Centaur scoring to keep the game out of reach.

Centaurs scoring totals: Lyndon Walker – 6, Isaiah Njoku – 15, Isaiah Benson – 10, Nicky Green – 4, Anthony Wheatle – 10, Kyle Johnson – 17, Myles Elrington – 8, Deven Osborne – 1, Malik McLinn – 6.

79 also proved to be Culver City's lucky number in the first Ocean League win of the season at home against Hawthorne High, a 79-51 domination, on Friday, January 22.

Culver jumped out to an early commanding lead and never relinquished it. The Centaurs led 27-10 after the first quarter. Benson made two 3-pointers and eight points, Johnson six points. Devone Yopp scored three, Njoku, Green, Elrington, Osborne and McLinn scored two.

Both teams scored 12 points in the second quarter and Culver led 39-22 at halftime. The third quarter heated up as Hawthorne poured in 16 points. Culver answered with 22 points and Hawthorne never threatened.

George Laase

Isaiah Njoku - Centaur playmaker

Benson hit another 3-pointer. So did Johnson who ended up with 15 total points for the game. Benson had a team-high 19 points, McLinn - 7, Njoku - 6, Elias Cathcart – 4, Elrington -4, Walker - 4, Wheatle – 3, Yopp - 3, Green – 2, Osborne - 2.

The fourth quarter was more of the same as the Centaurs outscored the Cougars 18-13. Culver's win was their third consecutive win over Hawthorne having beaten them both times last season.

Culver City is Currently 2-4 in league play with four games remaining on the schedule. Santa Monica currently leads the Ocean League with a 6-0 record. Beverly Hills is 5-1, Lawndale 3-3, El Segundo 2-4 and Hawthorne 0-6.


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