By Ray Conner
The jayvee Broncs basketball team participated in the Independence Tournament to begin their season.
They would win a pair of games and lose one in the tournament. The two teams they beat were McFarland and South. The loss came at the hands of Centennial.
Kern Valley against the Cougars was a defensive battle as neither team found much offense. The low-scoring affair favored the Broncs as they took the game 17-9.
Six different Kern Valley players got in on the scoring. They were led by Carlos Martinez with six points. Jeffrey Carter added four points, while Seth McCullough had three points. Jaison Scruggs and Mykah Johnson finished off the scoring with two points apiece.
Game two against South was a little more of an offensive battle. In the end it was the Broncs claiming victory, 35-31.
Kern Valley had balanced scoring in the game as 10 players were able to put points on the board. The team was led by Trey Bushling, Pardae Tuttle and Martinez with six points each. McCullough finished with five, while Scruggs had four. Tyler Strange added three points, while Kieran McCarthy, Airiand Navin, Johnson and Carter each scored two points.
In their loss against Centennial, it was another lackluster offensive output as the Broncs were limited to just 18 points. Five players scored for Kern Valley in this one, but the game was a 26-18 loss.
Strange was the leading scorer with six points. He was followed by McCarthy and Carter who scored four points. Martinez and Tuttle capped the scoring for the Broncs with two points apiece.
Kern Valley head coach Aaron LaFarga said, “Just like every year, the first game is always a scramble to try and run the correct play while battling our nerves. On the offensive end we couldn’t find our groove, but our tight defense picked up the slack holding McFarland to nine total points. Our second game against South, we were able to open up our offense a little bit, which resulted in us getting some good looks. The third game of the tournament against Centennial was a tough game and at one time we were down by three with two minutes left. We played hard and key three-pointers by Tyler (Strange), kept us in the game. Late defensive break downs cost us the game, but I am very proud of how we stayed locked in down 11-0 at the beginning. I believe the energy off the bench will keep us competitive in a lot of games this year.”
Kern Valley will now begin High Desert League play after a short non-league portion of their schedule. They were at home to take on the Rosamond Roadrunners on Tuesday. They will be on the road on Friday as they will take on Boron to continue HDL action.