Girls’ basketball team falls to Los Alamitos in CIF playoffs, 44-30

Photo by George Laase. END OF THE ROAD: Senior Katie Lin led the Lady Centaurs with 9 points, but it was not enough as the Ladys lost to Los Alamitos in the second round of the CIF 1AA, 44-30.

The Culver City girls’ basketball team’s most powerful weapon disappeared last week in the second round of the CIF playoffs.  Their trademark outside shooting was nowhere to be found in their 44-30 second-round loss to Los Alamitos on Feb. 25, inside the Del Goodyear Gym on the Culver City campus.

The defending CIF 3A champions were moved into the tougher 1A division, which made their road to the championship a lot more difficult this year.  Despite their early exit from the playoffs the Lady Centaurs still won the Ocean League with a perfect 10-0 record. This was the fourth year in row that they went unbeaten in league play but they were still hoping to advance deeper into the playoffs.

“I did not expect us to shoot so badly,” said Culver City coach Julian Anderson after the loss to Los Alamitos. “At the end of the day things like that happen but it was still a great experience to be in the playoffs. We lost some huge offensive players from last year’s team but I am so proud of this team. Because of our size a lot of people have looked at our team and laughed but when we take the court we play good, solid basketball.”

Anderson has built a winning tradition at Culver City but he gives his girls all the credit.

“I can’t take credit for them being good basketball players,” Anderson said. “Some of them have been here for four years and they have never given me or the school any problems. They have been a joy to coach. To have a group of girls that followed the rules and were good basketball players is a tribute to them.”

The lady Centaurs also made a lasting impression on the Los Alamitos coach.

“They are a very well-coached team,” said Rich Alvarez. “They had outstanding fundamentals and they play the game right. We knew they could shoot the three point shot so we concentrated on stopping the three pointers. We loved playing here and everyone at Culver City was very good to us.”

Next season the Centaurs strive to continue their dominance in the Ocean League and make a deeper run into the playoffs.

“Hopefully the returning players can step up and hopefully they have learned from their past experiences,” Anderson said.

Returning varsity players include Alexis Aquino, Alexis Arancibia, Billie Crichton, Jazzmine Lacy, Huma Manjra, Kate Suyetsugu, Kailey Tooke and Hayley Yamamoto.

The departing seniors are Katie Lin, Gwendolyn Machado, Lindsey Tanita and Megan Yoon.

“I will miss the seniors and I hope they come back to visit,” said Anderson.