By: Ray Conner
Kern Valley’s varsity basketball squad has a week.
The Broncs knew they had a pair of games that were going to be tough.
They entertained Rosamond in key High Desert League match up. They would follow that up with a game versus league-leading Cal City. They were able to slip past the Roadrunner and nearly upset the Ravens.
In the Rosamond game, the Broncs kept their opponent in check. The Kern Valley team was able to stick to the game plan and execute their way to a 46-39 victory. The win pushed the Broncs into a tie for second place with the Roadrunners.
Playing on their home court, the Broncs used that advantage to grab the early lead after the first quarter. Kern Valley dropped in 16 points, while their defense limited the visiting Roadrunners 11 points.
The two teams continued to battle in the second as Rosamond bounced back to take the halftime lead at 22-20. Coming out of the break, the Broncs were able to outscore their opponent 9-6 to erase the two-point deficit and jump back into the lead 29-28.
The final quarter saw the Kern Valley offense pour in 17 points to put some distance between them and Rosamond. The Roadrunners scored 11, but it was not enough to overcome the home squad. Kern Valley celebrated the hard-fought victory and a step closer to making the CIF playoffs.
Kaden Preston led the charge for the Broncs as he scored 16 points. He would drain a pair of three-point shots. Davin Lee added nine points, while Shelton Alley had seven. Lucas Harris finished with six points, while Ryan Walker had four. Spencer Hansen and Kieran McCarthy each scored two points to cap the Broncs scoring.
Preston was the team leader in rebounding as he grabbed 11 to complete his double-double. Alley pulled down 10 boards, while Walker had five rebounds. Harris was credited with four boards, while Hansen recorded a pair of rebounds.
Head coach Brian Christianson said, “Good win for the Broncs tonight. The team takes a lot of pride in their defense, and that helps when our shots aren’t falling as well as we would like. A great team win!”
Against the HDL unbeaten Ravens, Kern Valley would not go away. Each time Cal City made a run, the Broncs were able to battle back and close the gap. The final score saw the Ravens escape Kern Valley with a 62-58 win.
In the first quarter, the defense was in charge as the two teams combined for only 17 points. Cal City took the early lead 11-6. In the second the Ravens exploded for 18 points, while Kern Valley scored 12. The halftime score favored the Ravens 29-18.
The two teams played nearly even in the third quarter as Cal City added 18 points, while Kern Valley scored 17 points to make the score 47-35. The Broncs scored the final four points of the third to bring them closer.
Things started to get away from the Broncs at the beginning of the fourth as the Ravens opened up a 54-39 lead with 5:50 left in the game. It continued that way as with four minutes to play it was 60-44.
The Broncs defense took over and shut down Cal City for the next 3:56. Holding their opponent scoreless, Kern Valley climbed back into the game. The Broncs pounded away at the basket and closed the gap to two points at 60-58 on Preston’s three-pointer. They had a chance to tie the game, but came up short on a miss with 14 seconds left.
Kern Valley sent the Ravens to the free-throw line with four second where they sank two and put the game out of reach.
Preston would lead the team in scoring as he poured in 26 points, including four from three-point land. Lee finished with 16 and hit once from behind the three-point line. Hansen, Walker, Alley, and Harris each scored four points to wrap up the offense for the Broncs.
Alley led the team in rebounding as he pulled down a team-high 16 rebounds. Harris grabbed 11 boards, while Preston completed another double-double with 10 rebounds. Walker was credited with seven rebounds, while Hansen and Lee each had six boards. Trey Bushling had one rebound.
Christianson said, “Boy, the players really played hard and battled. We took every punch that Cal City threw at us, and we kept coming back. I’m really proud of the team.”
The Broncs finished up the regular season in Bishop against the rival Broncos on Tuesday.
They will be home on Thursday as they play a non-league game against Mammoth. This will also be a time when the seniors on the team get recognized.