Following their 58-21 home rout of San Luis Obispo Classical Academy on Tuesday, Dec. 12, the Coast Union boys basketball team hosted a far tougher opponent Friday and came up on the short end of a 58-52 score after a nerve-racking battle.
The Broncos had a mountain to climb all evening as they battled the lightning-quick, hot-shooting, ball-stealing Minarets Mustangs — from O’Neals in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
The Mustangs — a talented team of nine juniors and a senior, with six players 6-foot or taller — led by as many as 14 points. And Coast Union, a younger, relatively inexperienced team, had the ball stolen repeatedly; many of those Mustang steals turned into points that the Broncos were unable to match.
Notwithstanding the nonleague loss, Coach Tim May’s team (2-2) used this challenge as part of a work in progress: a good step towards becoming a cohesive squad through only their fourth contest.
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The team was stripped of an opportunity to face quality teams recently, when the Ojai Valley Classic Tournament was canceled because to the raging fires in Southern California. But May’s team will go head-to-head with hardy teams at the Desert Christian Tournament in Desert Hot Springs, Dec. 27 through 30.
Against Minarets, senior Riley Kennedy led the Broncos with 16 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore David Amodei tallied 13 points (including 3 of 6 free throw attempts); senior David Nolan poured in eight points (including a pair from the charity stripe) and had a steal; sophomore Nate Markham and senior Will Stephenson each had six points for Coast Union.
Against SLO Classical Academy on Dec. 12, Kennedy led the team with 18 points; Amodei scored 17 and Markham and Nolan each poured in eight points.
The next home game for Coast Union is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3, against Santa Barbara’s Providence High School. That game will be broadcast on KTEA-FM (103.5), and streams on www.1035ktea.com.
After losing five straight games to start the season — facing bigger schools like Bishop Diego, Villanova Prep and Morro Bay — the Coast Union girls basketball team handily defeated San Luis Obispo Classical Academy (55-10) on Dec. 12, and overwhelmed the Lady Mustangs from Minarets (45-18) on Dec. 15.
In the Minarets game, junior Kaylee Ferguson led all scorers with 14 points and junior Karis Lawson poured in 11 for Coast Union. Senior Meg Stern scored six points, sophomore Ellie Kennedy had five points, and senior Zoe Markham scored four points.
Sophomore Alondra Mercado chipped in with three points, and Sophomore Angelique Gutierrez was credited with two points for Coast.
On Monday, Dec. 18, Coast lost to Santa Maria in the Santa Maria Tournament 39-22. The Lady Broncos only scored two points in the second and third quarters.
The next home game for the girls is Wednesday, Jan. 3, a 5 p.m. game against Providence.