By defeating the Valley Christian Academy Lions 52-36 at home Friday Jan. 8, the Coast Union boys basketball team took a big step toward repeating as Coast Valley League champion.
Coming into Friday’s game, VCA topped the league standings at 3-0, with the Broncos just a half-game back at 2-0; the consensus among high school observers was that VCA posed the top threat to Coast’s recent dominance in the league.
Indeed, since Coast Union has been in the Coast Valley League, the Broncos have won three of the past five CVL titles; VCA won the crown in 2012, and the two teams tied for the title the previous year.
Head coach Tim May was pleased with the intensity of his team in the second half, especially after the Lions came back from a 40-27 deficit to get pull within six at 40-34.
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“The boys played inspired and with purpose,” May said on Monday January 11.
The Broncos led 27-21 at halftime, but May said he “made an adjustment to start the second half that ratcheted up our defensive intensity, and the players responded well the rest of the game.”
Sam MacKinnon hit five 3-pointers en route to a 23-point scoring night. His twin brother, Jack MacKinnon, played a fired-up defensive role, and Auggie Johnson added 10 points (including three 3-pointers) for Coast Union. Jez Lawson knocked down 17 points — including a pair of 3-pointers and five free throws.
Roberta Cueva, who was celebrating his 17th birthday Friday, played tough under the basket, ripping the ball away from Lion defenders and feeding his scoring colleagues.
May was happy to have his team hold the Lions’ top scorer, 6-foot-6 Luke Nichols, to 18 points, 10 points under his season average.
Coast Union’s team has just seven players, but May was only able to field six players Friday night.
One of the tough issues to arise from the dearth of varsity players is that it’s impossible to “simulate ‘game-like’ situations in practice,” May explained. So the Broncos have to use their emerging offensive and defensive schemes in actual game situations, which they did Friday night. That’s why May viewed the second half as “our best, because we were able to infuse our defensive scheme and the boys played wonderfully … frustrating the other team.”
The Broncos and Lions will lock horns again Feb. 2 at Valley Christian Academy.
Meanwhile, Coast Union played Maricopa on Tuesday night, Jan. 12, and defeated the Indians 51-33. Jez Lawson scored eight points for the Broncos, and Auggie Johnson chipped in with seven points.
While Coast Union — leading the CVL with a 4-0 record — was beating Maricopa, second-place Valley Christian Academy (4-1) was staying close behind the Broncos by pounding Cuyama Valley 69-25.
On Friday, Jan. 15, the Broncos travel to Coastal Christian.
The Lady Broncos came up seven points short in their basketball game against the Valley Christian Academy Lions Friday night, Jan. 8, in the Coast Union Gym. After a surge of seven points in the third quarter — compared with just two points by the Lady Lions — Coast was outscored 8-4 in the fourth quarter of a 35-28 loss.
Terrance Lawson had six points and two assists; Ashley Martinez tossed in six points and had two rebounds for Coast Union. Emily McAvoy led the team with 14 rebounds, and she chipped in with four points, as well.
Coming into this week, the Lady Broncos are 2-1 in Coast Valley League play, behind Coastal Christian (2-0) and VCA (3-0).
On Tuesday night, the Lady Broncos played at Maricopa and improved their Coast Valley League record to 3-1 with a dominating 47-9 victory. Reagan Kniffen led the team with 11 points; she also had three rebounds and three assists for Coast.
Fabi Gonzales contributed eight points and nine steals, and Terrace Lawson had six steals for Coast Union. On Friday night, Jan. 15, the team travels to Coastal Christian for another CVL game.
The Santa Lucia Middle School boys basketball team lost to Atascadero 58-34 in a home game Thursday, Jan 7. David Amodei was the leading scorer for the Warriors with 14 points.
This report is special to The Cambrian.