After plowing through the Coast Valley League schedule without a loss — and winning many games by lopsided scores — the Coast Union girls basketball team (10-0) received a first-round bye and will host a CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoff game Saturday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m.
The bye means Coast will likely face a robustly talented team Saturday. According to the brackets, Coast Union will host the winner of the playoff game between Santa Clara High School and The Buckley School. Coach Keith Stowers notes that both of these teams are “established programs with playoff experience”; hence, the challenge for the Lady Broncos is expected to be substantial.
The Buckley Griffins had a record of 6-3 in the Independence League and 6-5 overall. The Santa Clara Bruins’ record was 4-6 in the Santa Clara Valley-De Anza League, and they are 9-13 overall. The Bruins have one 6-foot player (6-1); the Griffins’ MaxPreps site doesn’t list a roster. Coast has two 6-foot players (Kaylee Ferguson and Meg Stern).
“It would be nice to get a crowd on Saturday night,” Stowers said in a text interview. “Getting a home game with a good crowd could go a long way in pulling off the upset. We will definitely be the Cinderella team.”
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The game will be broadcast on KTEA-FM (103.5) and streams live on www.1035ktea.com. If Santa Clara is the opponent, Stowers reports that this is a public school from Oxnard with 1,500 students. The Buckley School is a private school in Sherman Oaks with 331 high school students.
Regular season ends
The last two games the girls played revealed the shooting, ball-control and defensive skills Stowers knows his team needs to stay in the game against a potentially superior opponent Feb. 17.
On Feb. 6, Coast topped the Valley Christian Lions 43-18. Karis Lawson and Ellie Kennedy each tallied 13 points against the Lions; Ferguson added 12 points, and Alondra Mercado had eight points (4 for 4 from the floor).
On Friday Feb. 9, the Lady Broncos locked up the CVL championship by polishing off the Coastal Christian Conquerors, 35-20 (the Conquerors ended the season in second place in the CVL at 7-3). Coast jumped out in front 8-1 in the first quarter and never looked back.
This is the second year in a row that the team has won the CVL with a 10-0 record. From 2013-14 through 2015-16, Coast placed second in the CVL behind Valley Christian Academy.