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By Steve Finley
Sports Editor 

Culver City boys' basketball loses to Rolling Hills Prep in the CIF playoffs

 

February 15, 2024

George Laase

Culver City's Braylon Singleton drives to the basket during their 63-62 win against Aquinas high school last Friday in the second round of the CIF 2AA playoffs at Culver City. Last Tuesday the Centaurs loss to Rolling Hills Prep in the quarterfinals 74-62.

The last Culver City winter sports team that made the CIF playoffs was eliminated last Tuesday. The boys' basketball team was beaten by Rolling Hills Prep 74-62 in a very loud gym at Los Angeles Harbor Community College. The Centaurs could not overcome untimely miss shots and bad free throw shooting against a fundamentally sound and taller Huskie team.

"They executed better, and their overall scheme was a little bit better than ours," said Culver City head coach Ray Singleton after the game. "They hit their shots, and we could not make free throws during critical times in the game. When you can't make free throws when they matter that can come back to hurt you and we had trouble boxing out. We have to do the little things better."

Rolling Hills Prep is a private school with a student population of 231 but they have one of the best basketball programs in the state. The boys' team is coached by one of the best high school coaches in the nation, the legendary Harvey Kitani. He became famous when he coached at Los Angeles Fairfax high school many years ago.

Kitani had this to say after beating a quicker and faster Culver City team. "I think we started rebounding better and we had some height on them, and our center played a great game. It came down to execution and we were fortunate we were able to make some shots and that put some heat on them. We were lucky to come out with a win." The Huskies had seven players that were 6'3 or taller.

Although the Centaurs made several mistakes, they still had an opportunity to win the game until the final few minutes. "We beat ourselves," said one of Culver City star players, Braylon Singleton. "I don't want to blame the refs or anybody else. We had chances. We missed seven free throws in the second half, and we did not box out. They were getting a lot of second chance points. We have nobody to blame but ourselves, but we will be back next year. We have a lot of returning players."

The Centaurs finished the season with a very good 19-9 overall record and they were 8-2 in the Bay league. A record of 19-9 and a second-place finish in the tough Bay league is quite an accomplishment after a lot of coaches thought they would be a below .500 team. "I am extremely proud of them," said Singleton. "No coaches in our league gave our team a high ranking before the season started. Next year we just have to get back to the drawing board and get better."

 

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