The Coast Union varsity boys basketball team romped over the Coastal Christian Conquerors on Friday night, Jan. 20, by a lopsided score of 66-16. Going into the game, there was little doubt the Broncos were the superior team, so the outcome was no surprise.
But there’s more to the story than the score of the game.
Coastal Christian is a very small high school (180 students) in Pismo Beach that has struggled to enroll enough players for a basketball team over the past few years. In two of the past four years, the Conquerors did not field a basketball team in the Coast Valley League.
This year Coastal Christian is 0-4 in league play, and last year the team went 0-11 in the CVL. Moreover, because of the heavy rains that have soaked the county in the past few weeks, the Coastal Christian campus has been hit by mudslides — beginning Jan. 9 and reoccurring subsequently — that caused the school to close Thursday and Friday, Jan. 19 and 20.
The school is currently conducting fundraising in order to provide the students, staff and families with a multipurpose center (including a chapel), and a gymnasium; their “Kingdom ONE” gala dinner fundraiser will be Jan. 28 at the Madonna Inn Expo Center.
In the meantime, the Conqueror teams play their volleyball and basketball games in the Oceano Community Center, a beautiful facility visited by Coast Union’s boys and girls teams Friday, Jan. 20.
In the victory, Jack MacKinnon led all Broncos with 21 points; he had seven rebounds, six steals, and a pair of assists. Riley Kennedy, the only junior on the team, tossed in 11 points and nabbed five rebounds.
Auggie Johnson scored nine points, had four steals and three rebounds. Jez Lawson, who has emphasized fine-tuning his assist talents in recent games, dished out seven assists, grabbed seven rebounds and added seven points.
Sam MacKinnon had four assists, four rebounds, and scored five points, while Roberto Cueva scored seven points and had two steals.
Coast Union 65, Shandon 22
On Tuesday, Jan. 24, the Broncos entertained the Shandon Outlaws and prevailed by a 65-22 score. Jack MacKinnon led the parade of scorers with 26 points; he also had eight rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals — and he hit on six of seven free throw attempts.
Johnson tossed in 17 points for the Broncos, including three 3-pointers; he grabbed three boards, made one steal and one assist. That brings Johnson’s season totals for 3-pointers to 46; he leads the team with 209 points on the season.
Lawson tallied just six points, but that brings his totals for the season to 163 points; he added three rebounds, two assists and three steals. Lawson now has pulled down 94 rebounds on the season.
Sam MacKinnon scored five points (with one 3-pointer) and nabbed five rebounds, with four assists and a steal. Sam has 145 points on the season and has connected on 37 three-pointers.
Kennedy grabbed five rebounds for Coast (on the season he has 75 rebounds), and was credited with four assists and a steal. Cueva led the team with six assists; he also had three rebounds and two steals.
Nick Roper — who coach Tim May brings off the bench to inject a shot of energy into the team — grabbed three rebounds, had two assists and two points.
The biggest cheer of the night from the crowd at the Coast Union gymnasium was for senior Alam Ramirez, who scored his first points of the season. It was Ramirez’s first year going out for basketball, and after several shots in previous games that didn’t get net, he hit one, and was rewarded with an ovation.
The Broncos travel to the two outlying teams in the Coast Valley League next: Friday, Jan. 27 to Maricopa, and Tuesday, Jan. 31 to Cuyama Valley. Their next home game is Friday, Feb. 3 against Valley Christian Academy at 8 p.m.
Coast Union is 14-3 overall and leads the CVL with a 4-0 record, a game ahead of Cuyama Valley (4-1); Shandon is in third place with a 3-2 league record.