Broncs bounce back into summer hoops games

Photo by Donna Harris / Freelance Photographer; Anthony Barton No. 33 of the Broncs gets the summer basketball program started with the tip off against the Fresno Pacific squad. Teammate Kaden Preston No. 11 watches the action.

By Ray Conner
Sports Editor

Preparing for next season, the Broncs basketball team played a pair of summer games.

Kern Valley made the trip to Fresno Christian High School to play the games. They would split the back-to-back games taking on the host school and Liberty-Madera.

The format for these basketball games were two 20-minute halves with a running clock. The games were refereed by CIF officials with free throws only shot on shooting fouls. One made free throw equaled two points. When fouled and the basket was made, it was an automatic three-point play.

In the first game with the Eagles of Fresno Christian, the Broncs jumped out to a quick start as they took the early lead after the opening half. Kern Valley dropped in 30 points and the defense held the Eagles to 24 points heading to the half.

In the second half it was a totally different story as the Fresno Christian squad clamped down and allowed just 15 points to Kern Valley. The Eagles offense poured in 26 to claim the 50-45 victory.
On a high note, six of the eight players from Kern Valley were able to put points on the scoreboard. Two players scored in double figures and seven of the eight recorded at least one rebound. Half the team was credited with at least one assist.

Leading the way in scoring for the Broncs was Kaden Preston with 15 points. He also hit twice from three-point land.

Ryan Walker finished with 11 points, including three from behind the three-point arc. Lucas Harris and Davin Lee each scored seven points. They each hit once from long-distance. Seth McCullough’s three points came from a three-pointer, while Anthony Barton closed out the scoring for Kern Valley with two points.

On the boards, Barton grabbed four rebounds to lead the squad. Preston, Walker, Malikye Moore, and Pardae Tuttle each had three rebounds, while Harris finished with a pair of boards. Lee wrapped it up as he had one rebound in the game.

Lee handed out five assists to lead the Broncs in unselfish play. Walker was credited with three assists, while Preston had two. Harris recorded one assist for the Broncs.

Lee led the team in steals as he was credited with five. Walker had four, while Preston had one steal.

Kern Valley head coach Brian Christianson said, “Summer basketball is all about getting better, and getting used to playing as a team. I am very happy with our effort in this game. This was a great start to the summer for us.”

Lee commented saying, “We got some good experience against a good Fresno Christian team. I’m looking forward to the rest of the summer basketball games.”

Heading right back out on the courts, Kern Valley squared off with Liberty-Madera.

The Broncs defense gets credit for shutting down the Hawks and the offense got balanced scoring to claim the 53-18 win. This was a pure team effort as seven players put up points, all eight got at least one rebound, and seven handed out at least one assist.

In the first half, the Broncs offense hit the bottom of the basket as they opened with 28 points.

Photo by Donna Harris / Freelance Photographer; Kern Valley’s Pardae Tuttle No. 52 lifts a shot over the defenders in the summer basketball game played at Fresno Christian High School.

The defense clamped down and allowed their opponents just eight points to take a commanding 28-8 lead.

The second half saw Kern Valley continue to stifle the Hawks offense as they gave up only 10 points in the second half. The Broncs continued to pour in the buckets as they scored 25 more points.

Once again two Broncs scored in double figures and one player just missed.

Harris led the team with 16 points and Tuttle finished with 10 points. Preston had nine points, including one three-pointer. Lee finished with eight, including a three-pointer. Walker and Barton each had four points, while McCullough wrapped up the scoring for Kern Valley with two points.

On the boards, Preston and Barton each pulled down nine rebounds to share the team lead. Harris had eight boards, while Preston had six rebounds. McCullough had three rebounds, while Moore and Lee each grabbed a pair of rebounds. Tuttle finished with one rebound.

In the assists department, Preston led the Broncs squad with five. Lee handed out four assists. McCullough dished out three, while Moore had a pair of assists. Harris, Walker, and Barton had one assist apiece.

McCullough had the lone block for the Broncs, while Lee led the team in steals with three. Preston and Moore had a pair of steals, while Barton had one steal.

Christianson said, “It was nice to have a game like this in the summer where we could work on stuff.”

Walker finished up by saying, “Overall, I think this really helped us grow as a team. I am looking forward to the rest of the summer games.”

Up next for the Broncs will be a trip to Madera on Thursday, where they are scheduled to have a rematch with the Hawks of Liberty-Madera. The other game is scheduled against Mendota.