Falcons fall short vs. Mountain View, eyes set on CCS
With the clock winding down to the last 5 seconds, junior small forward Will Turpin dribbled up the court. He panicked for a moment: There was no one open to help him make a winning bucket against the Mountain View Spartans on Feb. 10.
With no other options, he took a shot. The home crowd watched, completely silent, as the ball bounced off the rim and into the hands of a Spartan, sealing a 48-46 win for Mountain View and ending the Falcons’ chances at a league title. They now trail the Spartans by two games and are in second place in the El Camino League.
The boys were buoyed by an energetic crowd: Parents and students, even those from Redwood Middle School, came out to cheer them on.
“The crowd really got us all pumped up, especially because we didn’t want to let them down,” junior guard Michael Xue said. “If we just played safer earlier on, we wouldn’t have had that struggle at the end for those two points.”
On Feb. 7, the boys gained a 41-35 road win against Santa Clara, a team they had lost to earlier in the season. The victory came as a great confidence boost.
“It was one of our best defensive games,“ senior guard Joshua Deng said. “We would switch up the defensive looks every couple possessions and we kept them guessing, which disrupted their offensive flow.”
On Jan. 31, the Falcons defended their home court against Lynbrook, winning 74-72 in a tight game. Once again, Saratoga supporters cheered loud as many donned “sixth man shirts” handed out by the Spirit/Athletics Commission at the game.
“Honestly, we were expecting a blowout,” junior power forward Neal Iyengar said. “We got more and more worried as the score got closer towards the end.”
Despite the Vikings’ comeback in the fourth quarter, the Falcons fought to win an imperative game that qualified them for league championships.
“On the bench, we were panicking, thinking our chance at a championship would be gone,” Iyengar said. “Thankfully, our crowd kept us energized and prevented us from losing control.”
Knowing that they had qualified for CCS extremely early on in the season, the boys are now focusing on CCS. Their main goals are to qualify for the CIF state playoffs or at least reach CCS finals.
“Right now we can get really large leads but struggle to keep them later on,” Iyengar said. “I know we can do well; it’s just a matter of playing consistently and putting everything we’ve learned to work.”
March 31: End of second six-week grading period
June 8: Graduation
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