The Coast Union boys basketball team may be 2-8, and may have lost its last seven games, but this is a young team on an upward trajectory as the Broncos learn to compete and battle to the end.
The tenacity of Coast’s seven-man squad came through loud and clear Friday night as the Broncos lost by just three points, 30-27, after trailing by as many as 10 against the Fresno Christian Eagles. The Broncos faced an Eagles team with 17 players. And seven of those 17 were 6 feet tall or taller. Coast has two 6-footers.
Fans in the gym were entertained and enthusiastic as the Broncos thundered back into the game in the fourth quarter before falling just short. Leading the team, as he often does, was senior Riley Kennedy, who scored eight points, grabbed seven rebounds, and was credited with four steals.
“Riley Kennedy is the heartbeat of the team,” Coach Tim May explained in an email interview. “His leadership skills have really emerged, and the team has absolute confidence in his communication and skills on the court. I’ve really admired how he has handled himself.”
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David Amodei also scored eight points against the Eagles (including a pair of three-pointers); he had four rebounds and two steals. David Nolan scored six points, and Nate Markham had three.
Forrest Johnson, playing (and scoring) for the first time after recovering from knee surgery, had a two-pointer, much to the delight of the crowd, which included his older brother Auggie — a 3-point-shooting star from last season’s championship team.
Earlier in the week, the Broncos were outgunned by Providence High School from Santa Barbara, 48-27. Kennedy led the scoring with 13 points, and Will Stephenson chipped in with seven. Markham had four and Nolan had three.