Girls Prepare to Defend Basketball Title
January 31, 2019
Culver City High girls basketball is one win away from defending its Ocean League title. The Centaur girls got revenge for their only league loss this season to El Segundo High by beating the Eagles, 47-32, last Friday night in a battle for the championship. The win left both teams tied for first place with two games remaining this week.
"It was definitely a must-win against El Segundo. We didn't want them to sneak out of here undefeated," said head coach Julian Anderson. "We actually jumped out on them and it looked like we were going to run away with the game. We were up 8-0 but we let them back in. We ended up 9-9 at the end of the quarter."
Two nights earlier Culver City easily beat Lawndale, 72-13, on the road. The Centaurs led 21-3 after the first quarter and 43-7 at halftime. Anderson used his bench for most of the second half but still outscored the Cardinals, 29-6, to sweep the season series. Lawndale failed to score in the fourth quarter as the defense stiffened.
Anderson: "We played Lawndale better defensively. That was key the last couple of games. I felt like the second time around in league the defense has gotten a lot better. The girls are buying in a bit more defensively and it's allowing us to lock down on some people."
The defense was also prominent in the victory over El Segundo. The Centaurs held the Eagles to a 15 points in the first half but only led by three. The third quarter was the turning points as the Culver girls outscored El Segundo 13-3. It was enough to hand the Eagles their first league defeat of the season.
"I thought we stuck with the game plan more by adjusting the game plan itself, just taking the game plan and making it better. It's between running a play and how you run the play that can be the difference," said Anderson.
"Honestly I thought it was a defensive thing. We did a better job of getting out to the shooters and covering them a little bit faster. We rebounded a little bit better and took away the things that they were really good at."
The Centaurs moved a step closer to the league title on Senior Night with a 64-8 trouncing over Hawthorne High this Tuesday, January 29. The game was never in doubt as Culver City led 19-0 after the first quarter and 32-8 at halftime. Once again Anderson was able to give his bench valuable playing time in the second half.
Culver City girls have one more game at Beverly Hills this Thursday to wrap up a share of the Ocean League title with El Segundo, provided the Eagles beat Santa Monica High at home on the same evening. The Centaurs have won six of the last seven league championships under Coach Anderson.
"We've gone to great lengths to emphasize that the team needs to share the ball more, dribble less and allow the defense to make mistakes by passing the ball. They're starting to finally come around to the idea of fun basketball where everybody gets a chance to shoot."