Broncs take third at Independence tourney

Photo by Donna Harris / Freelance Photographer
The junior varsity player No. 32 lifts a shot in the game played against Wonderful on Nov. 22.

By: Ray Conner
Sports Editor

Three straight days of games, results in third place finish for the junior varsity boys basketball team.

In a busy week of play, Kern Valley started a tournament on Thursday by playing a pair of tournament games at Independence. Then it was a road game to take on Wonderful College Prep Academy (Delano). Finally two more tournament games and the Broncs had racked up a lot of miles. In the end they collected four victories out of five games.

They started with a tournament game against Shafter.

The Broncs held on to collect the 21-18 win over the Generals on Nov. 21.
Broncs scoring: Airian Navin 5, Derrick Hinkey 4, Jaison Scruggs 4, Josh Papp 3, Seth McCullough 3, Matthew Carter 2.
Rebounding: McCullough 5, Hinkey 5, Scruggs 3, Carter 2, Navin 1, Garrett Davis 1.

In game two on the same day it was another tough matchup for the Broncs as they took on Liberty.

Stepping up against the larger schools, Kern Valley was able to pick up the 30-25 win and move to 2-0 in the tournament.

Broncs scoring: McCullough 14, Hinkey 9, Scruggs 3, Papp 2, Navin 2.
Rebounding: Scruggs 7, McCullough 3, Hinkey 3, Papp 2, navin 2, Carter 1.

On Friday the team went to Delano to play Wonderful College Prep Academy in a non-league contest that was not part of the tournament.

The Broncs ran away with this one and would move to 3-0 on the season. The final score saw Kern Valley win 33-19.

Broncs scoring: McCullough 5, Carter 4, Johnny Tedrow 3, Papp 3, Eli Wertz 2, Navin 2.

Rebounding: McCullough 9, Papp 5, Carter 3, Tedrow 2, Wertz 1
Coming back to play on Saturday in the tournament in bracket play, the

Broncs took on Centennial. The defensive battle went Centennial’s way as Kern Valley lost 22-15.

Broncs scoring: Scruggs 6, McCullough 5, Tedrow 2, Hinkey 2.
Rebouinding: Hinkey 6, McCullough 4, Scruggs 4, Carter 3, Tedrow 1, Davis 1.

In the game that would settle third and fourth place, the Broncs went up against West.

Kern Valley bounced back and got the 30-25 win to take home third place in the tournament.

Broncs scoring: Scruggs 14, Hinkey 6, Navin 5, McCullough 5.
Rebounding: Scruggs 6, McCullough 3, Navin 3, Hinkey 2, Wertz 1, Tedrow 1, Papp 1, Carter 1.

Kern Valley head coach Aaron LaFarga said, “During my four years coaching at the high school this has to be the scrappiest team I have ever seen. These kids have no quit in them and they aren’t scared to play anyone. This week was a long week for the boys because we played five games in three days. The week started on Thursday down at the Independence tournament where we faced Shafter and Liberty. The next day we traveled to play Wonderful Prep Academy where we got ourselves a good team win.

There was no time to rest as we returned back to the tournament to play Centennial in the semifinals. We didn’t come away with the win, but we beat ourselves that game as we missed a lot of free throws and shots that usually go in. The team buckled down and beat West High to take third place out of 16 in the tournament. As the smallest school there by far it was nice to silence the trash talk and laughs by the other teams we faced. My boys held their composure against the doubters and made them respect Kern Valley basketball. I am so proud of this team and can’t wait to show the High Desert League that we aren’t playing around this year!”

Kern Valley has a long wait until they are back in action. They will have to wait until Dec. 20 before seeing the court again.