Centaurs must defend to win league


Playing league games now, the Culver City High School varsity boys basketball team has some work to do to match its 20 wins last season. The Centaurs (8-7) stay at home this week against Santa Monica, Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The Centaurs showed their explosive ability last Friday by overcoming a 21-4 deficit to upend a quick Lynwood team, 78-76, at Culver City.

Keilan Horton hit two free throws with 15 seconds left, and Lynwood missed a 3-pointer at the end.

Lynwood used a tough zone press that put the Centaurs in a 17-point shortfall four minutes into the first quarter. Lynwood started the second half with more defensive pressure to grab a 21-point lead.  Head coach Jonathan Chapman changed the Culver City defense to a half-court zone that changed the momentum of the game and had the Centaur fans chanting, “Defense.”

Defensive stops gave the Centaurs fast-break opportunities as they closed the gap, 59-56, after three quarters.

Isaiah Taylor hauled in 13 rebounds. Aamahd Walker pulled in seven rebounds and three steals. Malik Deckard, who turned heads with his play, was named Centaur Player of the Week.

Unable to solve the half-court trap, the Centaurs lost last week at West Torrance High School, 57-44. Culver City over-dribbled and did not run its offense, according to Centaur coaches.

Taylor was the defensive player of the game, with 10 defensive rebounds, and Horton had three assists and as many steals.

In what appeared as playground basketball with referees, Culver City topped Hart, 79-77, in a contest with minimal team defense, but a dramatic finish.

The game ended on a fall-away jump shot that found the backboard and went clean through the basket for the win.

Centaurs must defend to win league