CULVER CITY HIGH SCHOOL boys' basketball team loses a state regional final

High school basketball does not get any better than the State Regional final game that was played at Culver City High School last Tuesday. The gym was packed with a standing room only crowd and the fans were on their feet during the three overtime periods. It was the loudest basketball game ever played at Culver high school. The atmosphere was perfect. The only problem is Culver City's boys high school basketball team lost the game against Buena in triple overtime, 82-79.

It was the first time in school that the basketball team made it that fall in the playoffs. They won six out of eight playoff games during their remarkable playoff run. Seven of those games had the home crowd on the edge of their seats but last Tuesday there was still a buzz in the air after the final horn sounded.

Culver City was a late blooming team that jelled at the right time. The coaching staff, led by head coach Michael Cooper and his assistants, Ray Singleton and DJ Vincent put together outstanding game plans throughout the playoffs but Tuesday night the Cinderella movie ended with the Centaurs missing a trip to Sacramento to play in the State Final on Friday. Instead, Buena from Ventura will face Oakland for the Division 3 State title.

"Overall the season was a success," said a disappointed assistant coach Singleton outside Culver City's locker right after the game. "I am proud of our boys but I feel like we shot ourselves in the foot. When you can't make crucial free throws, it's going to come back to haunt you." The Centaurs missed free throws and several layups and that was the difference in the game.

You have to give Buena credit. They came into the game with a 30-5 record and Culver City was 19-12. Buena ran a precision cutting offense that was led by their star players, Colin Buenther and Zane Carter who is also the quarterback of the football team.

And you also have to give credit to a Culver City team that put their names in the Culver City boys basketball history book but junior forward Achebe Thompson had this to say about the overtime loss. "Fatigue set in at the end during the overtime periods and during the early stages of the game we made too many mistakes. It was a combination of a couple of things that went wrong. That kept the game close."

Coach Singleton was already thinking about next season. "Now that we have a taste of success we are hoping to build on that next year."


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