Broncs win on Senior Night, gear up for playoffs

By Mike Blake

The Kern Valley boys basketball team has found rough going the past few weeks, but they righted the ship in a big way, splitting games last week and finishing with a win over Boron on Senior Night, as they get ready to reset before the playoffs.

The Broncs now sit with a 6-11 record overall and are 3-6 in HDL play. They traveled to Mammoth (11-8 and 4-6 in HDL) on January 23, and after a long bus ride, the boys played tough but ended up losing 63-38. The Broncs had beaten Mammoth Dec. 15, by a 50-47 score and the loss evened the season series at 1-1. 

In this one, the Huskies dominated the first quarter 19-11 and padded the advantage with a 14-8 second, to assume a 33-19 lead at halftime. The Broncs came out of the locker room with energy, but the Huskies met the challenge with a 17-11 run to lead 50-30 going into the fourth quarter. Mammoth closed the game out with a 13-10 fourth win 63-40.

On the score sheet, sophomore Bryce Smoot had 10 points eight rebounds one assist and one steal. Kern Valley boys basketball coach said “Bryce had a stand-out season this year and continues to get better each game.”

Junior Zane Carver had six points, seven rebounds, two steals, and one block. Freshman Shiloh Galvan had six points four rebounds four assist and one steal. Junior Joey Galvan also had six points, four rebounds, four assists and one steal. Senior Malakai Prock had four points, four rebounds and one steal, and seniors Ed Bunting, Kyle Denys and under-classman Elijah Johnson each scored two points and added a few rebounds and an assist. 

On the loss, Coach Henson said, “the boys played tough but the ball just didn’t roll their way that night.”

Saddled with a five-game losing streak, the Broncs hosted Boron (5-16, 2-8) for Senior Night and got a much-needed win to get back on track to start their push for the playoffs. The Broncs came out hot and didn’t let up all game to defeat the Bobcats 68-48.

Five seniors were recognized for the varsity boys that night and Coach Henson said all had great games to close out the last home game of the season.

“Senior Zack Wargo had a hot start and nailed a few threes from deep to get the Broncs up early,” Coach Henson said. “Zack had 12 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal. Zack has been a great player and always has a positive outlook no matter what the outcome of the game is. Zack will continue his senior year after basketball playing baseball, where he stands out as one of the league’s best pitchers on the mound.”

Henson said team captain senior Kyle Denys had an all-around game as always. “Kyle came out with enough energy to fuel the team to a big victory on senior night,” Coach Henson said. “Kyle is a great kid and player and always gives everything he has on the court. Kyle will continue his senior year after basketball competing in track as one of the fastest kids in the league.”

Senior Colton Carver is also a team captain and Henson said Carver has been solid this year as the Broncs’ starting center. “Colton is as tough as nails,” Henson said. “Colton takes on the biggest guys in the league playing center, and night in and night out he makes sure his opponents don’t forget who they played. Colton has been great all year; he will continue his senior year playing baseball. Colton has been fun to watch playing this year beside his younger brother Zane. They became a dynamic duo together on the court.”

On senior night, one player who stood out to Henson was senior Malakai Prock. “Malakai shined in his best game of the season with 13 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and one steal,” Henson said. “Malakai has been a great addition to the team this year and has gotten better each game. Malakai has a huge heart for the game. He is a fast learner, puts in the work each day at practice and it shows come game day. Malakai enjoys art, hanging out with friends and has been picked to attend the Kern High School art show where he will compete and showcase his artwork.”

Henson also praised senior Ed Bunting, about whom he said, ”makes the best of every game and he has made a big impact with his determination and toughness throughout the season.” Bunting scored two points, added eight rebounds and had two blocks. “Ed has made this year his best season yet and will continue his senior year in track, Henson said.

Underclassmen also shined on Senior Night. Freshman Shiloh Galvan was the leading scorer with 17 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. “As a freshman starting for the Varsity team, this kid can flat out play ball and has a huge passion for the game,” said Coach Henson.

Junior Joey Galvan scored nine points, pulled down five rebounds, handed out two assists and had two blocks. Henson said sophomore Daniel Hinkey played a great game as well. “He helped the Broncs close the game out with six points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals,” Henson said.

Continuing his report on non-seniors, Coach Henson said sophomore Bryce Smoot has been consistent as one of the top players on the team. Smooth finished with two points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals against the Bobcats. And junior Brandon Cox scored a point, added two rebounds and a blocked shot. “Brandon has improved so much this year and has great attitude,” said Coach Henson.

The Broncs took on Desert Tuesday, with details and results unavailable at press time. They then get a week to work before meeting Rosamond, February 6 as their scheduled game against Frazier Mountain on February1 has been cancelled.

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