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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Turnovers contribute to close losses in boys’ basketball preseason

Anika Kapasi
Senior Bryan Wang drives past senior Brooks Overton for a layup during practice on Dec. 7.

In early-season games against some tough opponents, the Falcons have held their own, but not always come away with a victory.  

One example of this came on Nov. 30, they lost their first preseason game to skilled Central Catholic team 65-62 in double overtime at the Santa Cruz Dad’s Club Tournament.

“We had a very strong game against a very good team,” senior captain and center Raghav Chakravarthi said. “They had a lot of tall [forwards and centers] and we didn’t have anyone that could match that height, but we still held them down.”

The close finish was in part due to a strong performance from senior guard Brooks Overton, who scored 20 points in addition to Chakravarti’s 14 points and six rebounds.

“In both overtimes, there were a couple of possessions where we gave up easy turnovers and they were able to quickly capitalize and score,” Chakravarthi said. 

Turnovers have been a consistent struggle, as players are often rushing on offense and make poor passes. In addition, the team struggled with free throws during the game against Central Catholic. 

On a positive note standout players like Overton have been helping the team with their scoring. Chakravarthi also anticipates that the team will be able to significantly improve if they “continue working hard and putting in a lot of effort.”

In the tournament, the team ended up losing their next game against San Luis Obispo High School 51-46. They followed up the loss with a resounding win against DCP Alum Rock High School 68-21 to round out the tournament.

“The tournament was definitely humbling as we are starting off with a losing record,” Chakravarti said. “But I know we are a good team with a lot of potential to do great.”

After dropping down to the El Camino League last year, the team’s roster has seen significant change, in part because last year’s team was predominantly seniors. But after a long summer season, the new team has developed strong bonds, both on and off the court, according to Chakravarthi.

 To continue developing team chemistry, the team also regularly reviews game film together with head coach Mike Davey during lunches on game days.

This team chemistry has helped them in their scrimmages before pre-season, competing against Homestead and Santa Teresa on Nov. 25 in a Santa Cruz tournament. They beat Homestead by 25 but lost by 3 to Santa Teresa. In addition, the team had a tough scrimmage against a group of alumni on Nov. 24, losing 65-61, but found many learning opportunities from the game.

“The entire team was playing really well for the first half, but at the beginning of the third quarter, we gave up a few turnovers,” Chakravarthi said. “Then they took the lead and we just couldn’t get it back from them.”

The team has been practicing heavily to ensure a strong preseason run, because teams with a record above .500 during preseason automatically qualify for CCS, no matter the regular season record. 

The team is set to play more pre-season games against Westmont on Dec. 13, Gunderson on Dec. 15 and Lincoln on Dec. 22 and will start the season with an away game on Jan. 3 against Lynbrook.

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