Culver City Observer -

By Fred Altieri
Sports Reporter 

Girls Basketball Lose in Championship Round

Successful Season With 25-7 record


March 15, 2018

Fred Altieri

Heaven Cooper (12) soars to the rim vs. Carson

Alas, after 32 games the 2017-18 basketball season Culver City High girls left everything on the court. The Centaurs lost 57-45 to Carson High on Wednesday, March 7 in the first round of the California State Division 3 Championship tournament. Their staunch defensive effort kept the game close. Unfortunately, the offense suffered late in the game after a valiant comeback.

For the Culver girls it was their second consecutive loss in this postseason. They lost their CIF Playoff semifinal contest, 63-59, in overtime at Warren High ten days previously. Apparent was the extended layoff having an effect on the offense that was in rhythm for much of the previous CIF Playoff Division 3AA tournament action.

The Culver offense started off cold in the first quarter at home in Del Goodyear Gymnasium. The Colts, who won the 2018 CIFLACS Division I Girls Basketball Playoff Championship four days earlier put up numerous shots but were denied by the Centaurs' motion defense. Carson had a slim 9-8 lead after the first quarter as both teams played tight.

Heaven Cooper knocked in a three-pointer, Angel Morris had three points on a field goal and free throw and Junie Dickson hit a field goal for Culver's first quarter scoring. The Colts balanced their scoring on four field goals and a free throw from four players.

The Centaur deficit increased in the second quarter with the Colts taking a 20-15 halftime lead. Amy Yoon scored a field goal and free throw, Morris and Dickson each added a field goal for the team's second quarter scoring. Carson's Myrrah Joseph dominated the inside, scoring six points in the quarter.

Both teams came out with a sense of urgency in the second half as the home fans started getting more vocal. Carson led 23-16 when Culver's Haley Yamamoto buried a three-pointer from the corner igniting a rally. Angel Morris banked in a short jumper to cut the lead to 25-23. Carson upped the lead to seven. Culver reduced it to 37-34 by the end of the third quarter.

Amy Yoon also nailed a three-pointer along with two free throws in the third. Morris scored four, Cooper converted four free throws and Dickson had three points on a field goal and free throw. Carson's Taylore Edwards led all scorers in the quarter with nine points. The Centaurs outscored the Colts by only two points in the quarter but grabbed the momentum.

Morris' two free throws cut the lead to one, 37-36, at Culver City finally grabbed the lead at 6:55 of the fourth quarter. At 5:18 Cooper gave the Centaurs their first lead 38-37. The home bleachers were rocking... momentarily. Carson made a layup at 4:45 to retake the lead. Their three-pointer at 2:58 gave them a 36-38 lead and they never looked back. The Culver shooting went dead cold and with it, their season.

For the game, Yoon scored 12 points including five three throws. Morris scored 11 on four field goals and three free throws. Cooper had 10 points including seven free throws. Dickson had nine points on four field goals and a free throw. Yamamoto added three points to round out the scoring for Culver City.

Fred Altieri

Angel Morris (10) fights for position in 4th quarter

The Centaur girls had another very successful season under Head Coach Julian Anderson and his staff: Assistant Coaches Mark Kitabayashi, Savannah Erskine and Tom Nakayama, trainers Huma Manjra and Talia T. The team finished 25-7 for the season including tying for the Ocean League Championship title with a 9-1 record.

This was Anderson's ninth season as head coach and the team's best record since 2013-14 season when they were 31-5 and won the CIF Division 2AA title. The team has a combined record of 187-86 during his tenure for a 68.75% winning percentage. The successful girls program has made the playoffs for the past seven seasons.

The 2017-18 Culver City girls basketball roster - Seniors: Lauren Jones, Haley Yamamoto and Angel Morris. Juniors: Heaven Cooper, Alyse Hayes, Shelby Montez, Ali Macgaffey and Khalilah Ali. Sophomores: Amy Yoon, Lindsey Kojima, Leah Howard and Junie Dickson. Freshmen: Malina Miura and Shana Moten.


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