A s if it wasn’t bad enough for the Coast Union Bronco boys basketball team to face powerful Central Valley Christian (CVC) last week — a team loaded with tall players (6-8, 6-7, 6-6, and 6-4) –with only one Bronco, Andy Gordon, at 6-0. But coach Tim May had more problems than height issues; after benching Ramiro Medina, one of his top scorers, due to a nagging groin injury, May was down to only five healthy players to put out there against CVC.
The result wasn’t pretty (34- 63), but May is quick to give credit to his players: “One thing I can always say about this team is they never give up trying.” It’s easy, May goes on, to “roll over when you are on a seven-game losing streak. But they have hung in there and the reward will be greater in the end.”
Without a tall player to go up against 6-6 CVC senior Derek Van Grouw, May put 5-10 junior Connor Cunningham on Van Grouw, who was “…by far the best post player I have coached against,” he said.
“It was a great learning experience for Connor,” May explained, especially in the art of rebounding. Obviously, the Broncos were giving up several inches to Van Grouw, but May subscribes to the coaching strategy that has the smaller player sticking to his taller opponent “like glue.” You box out your man to prevent him from getting the rebound.
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“Connor did a great job,” said May.
Meanwhile, after that grueling game, the Broncos had to go up against Immanuel, another big powerful team from the San Joaquin Valley. With only five players available (the minimum needed to put on the court) and fatigue setting in, the Broncos were defeated 27-63. In summing up the 8-13 season (one game this week against Mission Prep was played too late to report the score), May talked about how it takes “a special person to play.”
Good players “stand out immediately on the court,” he explained. If a high school player is able to play well under pressure “and does not get caught up in the game, he will have success.” Now, combine that coolness under pressure with talent, “and you have a special player. There haven’t been very many over the years, but that is one of the reasons I keep coaching,” May added.
— John FitzRandolph, special to The Cambrian