Cambrian: Sports

Can Coast Union's basketball team repeat as champs?

The Coast Union boys varsity basketball team had a banner year in 2011 and there is no doubt that with pretty much the same talent on the hardwood this year, another great season is on the immediate horizon.

Led by head coach Tim May, last season the Broncos tied for the best record in the Coast Valley League (11-1, 14-7 overall). They lost their only playoff game (46-32) to Lancaster Baptist. But, on the way to qualifying for that playoff, they received outstanding play from sophomores Quentin Raethke, Angel Avina, Alan Hernandez and Logan Brandt.

The 6-4 Raethke led the Broncos with 15.5 points per game; he racked up 295 total points, dished out 48 assists and hauled down 191 rebounds. Avina led the team with 64 assists and averaged 13.1 points per game. Brandt grabbed 96 rebounds and Hernandez averaged 7.3 points per game and totaled 60 rebounds.

Those players are now game-tested, experienced juniors, ready to once again buy into coach May’s vigorous practices and entertain fans with spirited, up-tempo performances. The Broncos are bolstered by the talented freshman Lane Southerland, who played some exceptional football this past fall, and by senior Nolan Baldwin, who distinguished himself on the football field over the past two seasons.

Six of the varsity players are six feet or over, including the towering Logan Brandt, who stands 6-7.

The Broncos played in the Sierra Pacific High School tournament over the past weekend (Dec. 1-3) and while they split their four games, they made a strong showing against Fresno High School, coming up on the short end of a 45-40 score.In that game Brandt tallied 11 points and grabbed a dozen rebounds and Raethke chipped in with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Against another big high school in that tournament, Mendota, the Broncos were nipped 70-66, but Avina (20 points, 8 assists), Brandt (16 points, 10 rebounds), and Raethke (17 points, 10 rebounds) showed they are ready to dive into the Coast Valley League competition on Dec. 11, when they travel to Valley Christian Academy in Santa Maria.

The Broncos host the Coast Union Tournament, Dec. 6-8, taking on Santa Maria at 7:30 tonight. Their first home league game is set for Dec. 14