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By Steve Finley
Sports Editor 

Successful consistency keeps CCHS girls' basketball playing at a high level

 

January 19, 2023

GEORGE LAASE

Culver City senior Elaine Rivera drives to the basket against a Redondo Union player last Friday at Culver City.

For the past 11 years Culver City girls basketball has been synonymous with

winning. Year in and year out the teams coach by Julian Anderson and his reliable

assistants have continued to play at a high level. Even though his teams don't

have size they make up for it by playing fundamentally sound basketball.

This year the Lady Centaurs are 14-3 overall and 2-1 in league play and tied for

second place with Santa Monica in the tough Bay league. Anderson keeps it

simple. He never gets too high or too low when it comes to his coaching

philosophy but their 14-3 record is surprising a lot of people because this team

had a lot of question marks.

"To be truthful I am a little surprised myself," said Anderson last Friday after

their Bay league loss to first place Redondo Union. "You never know what's going

to happen at the end of the day. These kids put in the work, and they deserve

some good results. We are just fighting to see what we can do."

What they can do is win the Bay league and make another deep run in the CIF

playoffs. But first things first. They want to win the Bay league which usually has

taller players. "Our kids play hard and as you can see, we don't let size bother us,"

said Anderson. "The Bay league is great. Great competition, a lot of great coaches,

a lot of great kids and great players. I love this league."

This year's team is lead by a combination of veteran players and young players

but the catalyst for this team is the return of senior Elaine Rivera. Rivera missed

the last two years because of a knee injury but the way she is playing she appears

to be trying to make up for lost time.

"It feels great to be back," said Rivera last Friday. "I missed it a lot. I was gone

for two years. It definitely hurt but being off the court taught me a lot. You learn a

lot more from watching. I am trying to get back into shape like I was before. I

want to show everyone that I really want to be her for my last year. I love our

team. The chemistry on and off the court is great. We are like family, and we have

each other's back."

Anderson had this to say about Rivera. "She missed two years but now she is

back. As you can see she is ready to go but there are still few things we need to

work on but she is a very good basketball player."

Basketball is the ultimate team game and Anderson is excited about the whole

team. "We need to improve on a few things like boxing out and better second

GEORGE LAASE

Culver City senior girls basketball player Claudia Fan looks to pass the ball during a fast-break play against Redondo.

efforts and fighting through the ups and downs of the game, but this team has

heart. They fight and they adjust. When I call a time out and make adjustments,

they follow through with making the corrections."

After 16 years with the girls basketball program at Culver City High School, five

as the junior varsity head coach and 11 as the varsity head coach Anderson is still

excited about coming to work. "I am still having fun. We get good kids, and they

buy into the system. It might take them a couple of years but it's worth it to see

them grow and get better. To me it's more genuine."

Their next two home games are next week on Wednesday and Friday. Both

games start at 5:30 p.m.


 

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