This year’s Coast Union boys basketball team is well-stocked with talented, smart players, including eight seniors and three juniors.
And after placing second in the Coast Valley League with a 10-2 record in 2012-2013, coach Tim May’s squad is shooting for the top spot this season.
They are off to a good start based on their first Coast Valley League game, defeating Valley Christian Academy on Dec. 19 by the lopsided score of 67-41; Valley Christian beat the Broncos in 2012-2013 and won the CVL, 12-0.
Today, (Dec. 26) the Broncos host Morro Bay at noon, the opening game of the annual Coast Union Invitational. On Friday, Coast hosts Caruthers at noon, and Saturday the Broncos will play Immanuel.
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Three seniors are playing their third year and two seniors — Quinten Raethke and Angel Avina — are in their fourth year.
Raethke, 6-foot-3, who was recently recognized with several football awards, averaged 13.5 points a game last season and comes into this week averaging 10.4 points per game after five. (He is recovering from an ankle injury suffered in football).
Last season, Raethke led the team with 194, and through five games in 2013 he has pulled down 46 rebounds.
Teammate Avina is equally athletic.
As quarterback on the 11-2 Broncos football team, he received Most Valuable Player awards from Coast Union, CIF Southern Section Division 1 and the Coast Valley League.
Avina is averaging 12.9 points per game through eight games in 2013. Last year he averaged 9.2 points per game.
Despite his height, Avina stands just 5-foot-8, the senior is currently third in total team rebounds (40), and he leads the Broncos with 32 assists. Last year, Avina was second in assists with 80; Raethke led the squad with 92.
Senior Logan Grant, playing in his third season, was second behind Raethke in total rebounds in 2012 with 175.
At 6-foot-8, Grant is an important part of the Broncos defense. He led the team in blocked shots in 2012 (44), and this year he is averaging 6.7 points a game compared with 2012 when he averaged 9.4 points per game.
Alan Hernandez, a 6-foot senior playing in his third season, averaged 7.4 points per game last season and this year is producing 5.2 points a game. Last year, Hernandez was third in rebounds (behind Raethke and Brandt) with 72, and so far this season has 23.
Junior Gehrig Kniffen was third on the team in assists last season (42); he is second this season thus far (with 19) behind Avina. Kniffen leads the team with a 67 percent success rate on 2-point shots; he has hit on 12 of 18 attempts.
Freshman Jez Lawson, named MVP on the 2013 Coast Union cross-country team, is averaging 6.4 points a game through nine games. Lawson has 30 rebounds, 14 assists and 4 steals, and is hitting on 53 percent of 2-point attempts.