By Steve Finley
Sports Editor 

Culver City girls' basketball seniors go out on a high note

 

February 24, 2022

George Laase

Culver City's girls basketball starting five after their win over Beaumont in the CIF playoffs last week. From left to right, Faith Alessandra, Claudia Fann, Erica Payton, Marina Nimnual and Mia Washizaki.

Making it to the third round of the CIF Division 2A girls' playoffs was a great accomplishment for the undersized Culver City High School girls basketball team. They made it that far because they displayed true grit and determination and a group of dedicated seniors. Although they lost to Santa Margarita last Saturday in the quarterfinals 58-42, making that far was a great achievement.

Having what head coach Julian Anderson described as a roller coaster season, but in the end, it was all down hill for this team. They were 16-9 overall but they took fifth place in the super competitive Bay league with a record of 3-5. When the Bay league tournament started a few weeks ago that's when they took flight and started to regain some of the magic they showed in November and December.

That's when the starting five and especially three senior girls started to put it all together. "We have an extremely good senior group," said longtime Culver City head coach Julian Anderson last week after their second-round win over previously unbeaten Beaumont. "I am happy for our seniors." They were four seniors on the team. Marina Nimnual, Sierra Nimnual, Erica Payton and Faith Alessandra.


"We had never made it this far in my four years so it's a pretty big deal," said senior Payton who played three different positions in her career. "Our teammates are like family. We all work together, and we hang out together. It's been an amazing four years. I would have not chosen any other place to play."


Another senior who was very instrumental in their success this year was Marina Nimnual. "Our team played as one team and we really wanted to win," said Marina after their win over Beaumont. "What got us this win was everyone playing together and everyone hustling and encouraging everyone. It comes from hard work and confidence and everyone showing up to every practice."

Four years have gone by quickly for the seniors but it's something they will never forget. "It's the best moment of my life," said Marina with a smile. "I feel like I have spent more time in the gym than I have spent in my house. Culver City basketball is just my life."

 

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