After being outscored 40-21 in a home game by Morro Bay on Tuesday, Dec. 5, Coast Union’s girls basketball team was looking forward to its second home game in a row — and a chance to win its first game of the season, against Dunn School on Thursday, Dec. 7.
But Dunn called at 3 p.m. Wednesday to announce that its team would not be coming to Cambria because, according to what Coast Union coach Keith Stowers was told, “It would interfere with finals.”
Stowers said his players were “disappointed, but we treated (the abrupt cancellation) as another day of getting better.” The coach had his team in the Coast Union gym at 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, for “one of our better practices all season.”
In that Saturday practice Stowers had the players scrimmaging against coaches and the second team, and worked on “zone offense, man offense, press break … and shooting drills.”
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In an email interview, Stowers said the team’s chemistry is led by junior Karis Lawson, “a student of the game who is always working to improve.” Junior Kaylee Ferguson, sophomore Ellie Kennedy and senior Meg Stearn make up “a tall, imposing front court,” the coach said.
Stowers is counting on sophomore Alondra Mercado, junior Bella Raethke, senior Zoe Markham, sophomore Angelique Gutierrez and sophomore Jackie Happel to make substantial contributions as well.
The next home game for the Lady Broncos is Friday, Dec. 15, a 5 p.m. contest against Minarets.
The best laid plans of mice, men and basketball coaches, can go askew when Earth’s natural forces dictate otherwise. Case in point: each fall in the early season, Broncos coach Tim May takes his team to the Ojai Valley Classic Tournament. It’s a good warm-up and test for his players.
But this year the terrible fires – and thick smoke associated with the inferno – in the Ojai/Ventura County area forced organizers to cancel the tournament.
In an email interview May said that “losing those three games hurts the development and on-court chemistry in the early going,” but he quickly added that he does not mean to sound “selfish.”
There are more important things in life than basketball games, May explained, and it is fortuitous that the time not spent in Ojai was used for additional practice sessions. In fact, the Broncos ended last week “with one of our best practices of the year.”
He was also pleased that the time spent in Cambia allowed some of his players to fully recover from early-season illnesses.
May reported that junior Forrest Johnson “was able to practice the entire practice last week, which is a really good sign” because last year Forrest (younger brother of last year’s 3-point sharpshooter Auggie Johnson) had double knee-realignment surgery.
According to Forrest’s father, teacher Ayen Johnson, Forrest was born with “Patella Alta, where his kneecap doesn’t rest in the groove between his femur and tibia/fibula.” Ayen added, “He is better now. He is working hard to get back on the court to shoot some three’s.”
The next home basketball game for the boys is Friday night, Dec. 15, a 6:30 p.m. game against Minarets. That game will be broadcast live on KTEA-FM (103.5), and streams on www.1035ktea.com.