Losing only one player to graduation, the Culver City High School girls varsity basketball team and rookie head coach Julian Anderson will look to build on a satisfying season that ended with a thud – a first-round upset by San Gabriel, 43-40, at Culver High.
The Lady Centaurs (6-4 in league, 14-14 overall) will have a well-built veteran team next season. The squad has a strong nucleus that will be seeking a possible Ocean League championship next winter.
In the untimely conclusion to their season, the Lady Centaurs struggled offensively in the first half while the Matadors from the Almont League were perfect from the free throw line. Culver City entered halftime with a 20-18 advantage.
It was a different story in the third quarter. Led by the game’s two leading scorers, Tiffany Ha (16 points) and Amaris Taghdis (15 points), San Gabriel shot better than 55% from the field and remained perfect from the line. Culver City went cold and quickly got into team foul trouble while being outscored 14-5. The Matadors entered the final stanza with a seven-point advantage, 32-25.
Led by Lunden Junious (14 points) and Kelsey Ueda (10 points), the Lady Centaurs rallied to within three points with 10 seconds remaining. The Matadors had fouls to give, however, and were able to force Culver City to use up the remaining time without allowing a free throw attempt.