Centaur winter sports teams are hoping to make the playoffs

Culver City high school has five winter sports teams competing in the last weeks of the regular season but only one team is guaranteed to go to the big dance which is the CIF Southern Section playoffs. The boys' basketball team is currently in second place in the Bay league and that puts them in position to go to the playoffs.

At press time (last Tuesday) the girls basketball team was in 4th place in the Bay league, the girls' soccer team was in 4th place, the boys' soccer team was in 5th place and the girls water polo team is 0-2 in league play but their overall record is 12-7. Because of their overall records water polo, girls' basketball, and girls' soccer could make the playoffs as an at-large team.

Last week the boys' basketball team lost to Mira Costa on Tuesday and beat Peninsula last Friday. Although Culver City won the game the best player on the court was James Anderson, a 6'4 forward from Peninsula. Anderson had this to say about playing against the Centaurs. "Culver City's positive energy made the difference. They looked like they were having fun out there. They were playing hard. They did a good job."

Culver City's boys head basketball coach, Ray Singleton said this week he is going to rest some of the starting players and get them ready for the playoffs. He also said that Thursday (February 1) will be a very emotional night because it's Senior Night and it will be his first graduating class. "I have coached some of the seniors since they were in the ninth grade," said Singleton. The Senior Night game will start at 7 p.m. against Santa Monica at home.

Singleton is hopeful that resting some of the players will put his team in the position to make a deep playoff run. "Right now, I want to put some new offensive sets in and hopefully we will get a good draw in the playoffs. I hope we can win four games in a row and get to the championship game. I am not looking past any team; I am just preparing for the future."

There are several players on the boys' basketball team that can really make a difference going into the playoffs and one of them is Mark Fourte who had a big game against Peninsula. "He stepped up big for us," said Singleton. "I need to allow him and a couple of other players to be able to express themselves on the court. He can be a good player as far as energy and tenacity and he is a good three-point shooter. When he is focused and locked in, he is as good as any guard in the Bay league. He is very creative."

The girls' basketball team who was 13-12 overall at press time will probably need to win one out of the two games they play this week if they expect to make the playoffs. "We have to take care of the next two games," said head coach Julian Anderson after their win over Peninsula last Friday. "If we can do that should be okay. I want them to play hard and play with a purpose. They are aware of the situation." The girls Senior Night is also Thursday at 5:30 p.m. against Santa Monica at home.

One of the girls that is stepping up is freshman Beatrix Wada. Being a freshman playing varsity basketball can put a lot of pressure on a young high schooler and Wada had to work through that situation. "It was challenging at first," said Wada after they beat Peninsula last Friday. "I was stressed out in the beginning, but it is getting easier for me now."

Wada credits playing on club basketball teams and that has helped her to relax under the pressure of playing in front of big crowds. "Right now, I am having a lot of fun playing for Culver City High School. I love my teammates and the coaches."

The CIF Southern Section office will announce the playoff Brackets on Sunday and the Culver City High School sports fans are hoping the Centaur's name will be called three or four times.


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