After a strong start to the season, the Cuesta College men’s basketball team found themselves in a difficult situation with seven of the team’s 14 players out with injury, including three starters.
But with key contributors Plamen Hristov, Kenny Robinson, Arne Ingebrigtsen and Oscar Pedroso back in the mix, the Cougars returned to their winning ways, pulling out an 81-80 victory Wednesday on the road at Moorpark when Robinson, in his first game back after missing a month with a stress fracture in his foot, nailed a free-throw line jumper as time expired to lift Cuesta in its Western State Conference opener.
Hristov, the team’s leading scorer, picked up right where he left off before his injury, scoring 25 points and grabbing 20 rebounds to pace Cuesta (14-8). Arne Ingebrigtsen had 21 points, 19 in the first half, and Pedroso added 17 for the Cougars.
“It was a game of will for us,” Cuesta head coach Rusty Blair. “For us to even be competitive in this game with the injuries we have is incredible, and for us to pull out a win tonight is pretty big for the guys in green.”
Cuesta women defeat Moorpark
Alyssa Palma, an Atascadero High grad, and Aria Johnson, a former Morro Bay standout, scored 11 points apiece to lead the Cuesta women’s basketball team to a 49-47 victory over Moorpark in their Western State Conference opener.
The Cougars (13-7) had a four-point lead at half, which was just enough to keep the Raiders at bay as they outscored Cuesta in the second half 32-30.
Johnson led the Cougars with nine rebounds. Courtney Chadwick added 10 points, and Miriam Zabinsky had nine for Cuesta.