By: Don Hazard
On Feb 7 Cal City came to play an aggressive defense at Kern Valley.
Cal City’s defense was a lot, lot better than when we played them a month ago at Cal City. They came out pressing and have the athletes that can run the floor. The game was tied at the end of the first quarter and Kern Valley had a one-point lead at half time.
At the end of the third quarter it was tied. Kern Valley had used a couple of different defensive looks at Cal City. They were the 1-3-1 trap, the 1-2-2 zone, and the 2-3 zone look. In the fourth quarter the Lady Broncs went to a full court person-to-person press. Both teams played really hard, but Kern Valley was about to win the game by six points pulling away in the final quarter.
Kern Valley individual stats: Kasey Lassen had nine points, 10 rebounds and one steal. Riley Embree had a lot of steals and ended the game with seven, three points, and four rebounds. Danna Avila had two points and one rebound. Kaila Gholson scored 10 points, nine rebounds, six steals and one blocked shot just missing a double-double. Kayla Benavides had two points, one rebound and one steal. Clarissa Roca had one rebound and Eva Brennan had two points, six rebounds and two steals.
On Feb. 11 Kern Valley traveled to Bishop to play the best Bishop JV team they’ve seen since Hazard has been coaching. We started the game in a 1-2-2 defense which worked well for us. At the end of the first quarter Bishop had a three-point lead.
Kern Valley continued to battle, but was still behind by three points at half time. The Lady Broncs stayed in the 1-2-2 be-cause it was working for us, and it had Bishop a little bit off balance.
In the third quarter Kern Valley tied the game and then took a two-point lead. Once we took the lead Bishop called a timeout and came out with a full court press. The Kern Valley team played hard and by the end of the game they had four girls that had hurt their ankle, hip, shoulder or ribs. The Lady Broncs were beat up and Bishop ended up winning the game.
Hazard said, “Congratulations to Bishop for winning the High Desert League championship.”
Kern Valley finished in second place in the HDL.
Hazard commented, “Again, that was the best Bishop JV team I’ve ever seen so I was really proud of my team. We didn’t shoot the ball well, but we played really hard the entire game.”
Lady Broncs individual stats: Brennan had one rebound. Roca had one assist. Benavides had four points, two rebounds and one steal. Gholson had three points, six rebounds, one assist, and one blocked shot. Avila had one rebound and two steals. Embree grabbed four rebounds, while Lassen had five points, five rebounds and one steal.
This past Thursday our season ended with our last game against Mammoth. Kern Valley started the game in a 1-3-1 press/trap and was able to cause a lot of turnovers. At the end of the first quarter Kern Valley was leading 17-0.
In the second quarter we stopped pressing and went to a 1-2-2 zone. It was 26-3 at half time.
After half time Hazard told the team they were going to play the 2-3 zone for the second half. They were to let Mammoth shoot the outside shot. Kern Valley ended up winning the game 47-13.
Hazard said, “Unfortunately for Mammoth, I think my team was taking out some of their frustration from the Bishop game by pounding Mammoth.”
Kern Valley individual stats: Lassen finished the game with a double-double. She had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Along with that she had three steals, two assists and one block. Hazard said, “She played an awesome game.”
Embree also played awesome and finished with a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. She was also credited with three blocked shots and two steals. Avila had three points on one three-pointer. She had two rebounds and one steal. Benavides finished with 16 points, three rebounds, one assist, and six steals. Hazard said, “She really had an awesome game including hitting a three-pointer at the buzzer to end the second quarter.”
Roca had four points, three rebounds and one steal, Brennan finished with six rebounds, one steal and one assist.
Hazard finished by saying, “It was a great way to end the season and my basketball coaching career. This was my last game at Kern Valley High School. I coached basketball at Kern Valley High School for 17 years (9 HDL championships) and have a lot of great memories from every team. The team this year was absolutely special, awesome people and an awesome team. I want to thank them for being such a great group to coach and work with. I also want to thank my assistant coach Summer Kirby for everything she did for me and the team this year. I want to thank Alexis Morales for taking care of the stats for us this year. It was really a great experience coaching them. I wish them the very best and will miss them.”