"Sons of Westwood", basketball, CIF, CIF Southern Section, Culver City Centaurs, Culver City High School, Hawthorne Cougars, high school basketball, Los Angeles, SoCal High School Sports, Southern Californa, UCLA
The entrance to Culver City High School’s campus, not far from my home. Photo courtesy of thefrontpageonline.com
CHECKING OUT A HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL GAME IN L.A.’S WESTSIDE
After doing articles on the high school (and even the community college) football scene in my former hometown of Santa Monica, I knew that the local basketball scene had to be covered on this site.
Which is why I took a walk to Culver City High School one recent evening to check out the atmosphere at their basketball games, the blue and white-clad Centaurs taking on Hawthorne’s red and gold-clad Cougars.
After paying my $7 admission, I entered Del Goodyear Gymnasium and found it to be a nice home for Culver City’s basketball as well as volleyball (for both genders) teams, the highly ranked girls’ hoops squad having just finished their contest while their young male counterparts were warming up for their game with Hawthorne.
The place has a hangar-like curved ceiling, with an intimate aura like countless other high school gyms across America; a perfectly fine place to watch 15 to 18-year boys and girls play.
A Culver City player dribbling the ball up the court. Photo courtesy of cluvercityobserver.com
I was a little disappointed in the fact that there were no game programs available as I would have liked to have known who the players on both teams were, nor did anyone play or sing the national anthem before tip-off.
But it somehow didn’t seem to take anything away from the overall atmosphere of the game, which was enhanced by the presence of both Culver’s and Hawthorne’s cheerleading squads.
As well as Culver City High’s pep band, which was very cool as I was pleasantly surprised to see high school bands still playing at basketball games in this day and age. Like their cheerleading counterparts, several of them doing a great job with their cartwheels during the contest, the band provided much spirit with their drum cadences in particular.
Playing the fight song of my collegiate alma mater, UCLA’s “Sons of Westwood”, which they adopted as their fight song, was a nice touch as like a good Bruin alum, I found myself doing the traditional “Eight-Clap”.
Culver City High’s band during a performance in front of the school. Photo courtesy of culvercityobserver.com
Speaking of Hawthorne’s cheer squad…
Hawthorne High was the opponent at the previous high school event I attended, the homecoming game at my alma mater Santa Monica High School, and not only did Hawthorne not provide any cheerleaders for that game, I was told that the school had cut cheerleading from their budget, which I was quite shocked and saddened over.
As it turned out, not only did the school hire a cheer coach and start a squad soon afterward, along with the Culver City band they were two big highlights of the game for me as those Cougars were very organized and displayed tons of spirit with their routines and cheers that were every bit as loud as Culver City’s, in their hangar-like house no less.
The other highlight of the evening that I need to mention was a campaign that the students, one very impressive one in particular, were undergoing at the game.
Led by 11th grader Bailey Holiver, “Focus On A Cure” was set up to raise awareness and money for leukemia and lymphoma research, with T-shirts, pom-poms and foam fingers being sold for a $1 donation. Many of Culver’s students and even the basketball team’s coaching staff were wearing the shirts; while I wasn’t interested in a shirt, pom-pom or foam finger, I did make it a point to give them a dollar anyway as I thought it was an excellent cause.
Culver City High’s cheerleading squad at a completion, where they evidently did very well judging by the medals. Photo courtesy of wavenewspapers.com
As for the game itself…
Largely because Culver City had a 6’7″ guy who was easily the tallest player on the court and had no problem grabbing rebounds, as well as the fact that they started hitting their outside shots in the second quarter, after a 32-32 halftime score the Centaurs handled their business against the 0-8 (in league) Cougars, opening up a 12-point lead at one point in the second half and winning 60-50.
With their league record at 5-3 and two games left before the CIF playoffs begin, Culver City’s final two games will be HUGE.
My Overall Impressions…
I enjoyed myself at the game.
I found the atmosphere at Culver City’s hoops contest to be quite good, a slice of both Americana and Southern Californiana.
Everyone looked like they were having a good time, the Culver students, cheerleaders and band doing a great job showing their spirit and support for their basketball squad.
The fact that Hawthorne’s cheer squad did a wonderful job supporting their team made the game’s overall atmosphere that much better.
I remarked to a few people that my experiences were so pleasant, I would make an effort to attend a Culver High game next season when Samohi (short for Santa Monica High) plays them as seeing the high school where I graduated from and the high school in the town where I currently live in has an obviously natural attraction for me.
Of course it should go without saying that I wish both Culver and Hawthorne’s teams, cheer squads, the Culver band, and that Focus On A Cure campaign well going forward.
A picture of Del Goodyear Gymnasium on the campus of Culver City High, where I recently attended the basketball contest between Culver’s Centaurs and Hawthorne. Photo courtesy of cchs.ccusd.org