Boys’ basketball: CCS hopes rim out

February 22, 2010 — by David Eng and Jenny Zhang

You win some, you lose some.

No one understands this more than the boys’ basketball team, which saw its hopes of a CCS berth fade away in the waning seconds of a Feb. 12 game against rival Lynbrook Vikings.

Entering the crucial game with a 4-6 record, the Falcons had hopes of defeating a Lynbrook team they had obliterated 61-38 on Dec. 18 and edged 76-61 more recently on Jan. 22.

After Lynbrook made a half court shot at halftime, the Falcons were down by two points heading into the locker room, but they managed to claw their way back and had a three-point lead with just 15 seconds remaining in regulation. However, a victory was simply not in the cards for Saratoga, as the team’s narrow lead disappeared on a last-second desperation three-pointer by Lynbrook to tie the game and send it into overtime.

Early in the extra period, the Vikings took control and never looked back, handing the Falcons a
70-63 loss.

Last year, Saratoga had a meager 4-8 league record, but boasted a 7-6 preseason win-loss count, which ultimately earned them their CCS bid. This year, however, the Falcons went just 4-8 in non-league games and had no chance of pulling to an even .500 in league after the loss to Lynbrook.

“It was pretty hard on us not making CCS, while we still knew that we were one of the better teams in the league,” said freshman center Stevie Berman. “We just didn’t win the games we needed to, which was dissappointing and really killed us.”

To Saratoga’s credit though, they put up a good fight against the Vikings, who were 6-3 in league and 6-1 at home prior to the matchup. The Falcons nearly survived a career night from Lynbrook guard Justin Chen, who tallied an incredible 35 points on eight three-pointers.

Saratoga’s own scoring machine, senior shooting guard Daniel Chou, managed 19 points of his own on two shots from downtown, but had to sit out three of the four minutes of overtime due to a concussion from the opponent as Chou went up for a lay up.

“After they made a buzzer beater to send it to overtime, our team kind of lost momentum,” said Chou. “I don’t know how much [my injury] actually affected the team, but I was disappointed that I wasnt able to stay in the game and try to push through to win.”

On the bright side, the Falcons finished their season with a strong win over Santa Clara on Senior Night. Before the Feb. 17 game began, Saratoga recognized the efforts of four varsity seniors: center Vinnie Carstens, guard Daniel Chou, forward Andy Johnson and guard Shawn Ra. The players received special flowers and were greeted by their families.

“Senior night was just a great experience because even though the turn out wasn’t as good as other games, all the important people and family were there,” said Johnson. “It was sad playing in my last game.”

After the pregame festivities came to a close, it was all business for the Falcons, who rushed off to an early lead which they would not relinquish. Saratoga won in blowout fashion 65-51 with contributions from all four seniors. Carstens and Chou each scored 17 points on two three-pointers, Johnson added 11 and Ra played significant minutes in his first start of the season.

According to Chou, the team’s 5-7 league record was not exactly where anybody wanted to be by the season’s end, but, on the bright side, the basketball program seems to have a lot of room to improve for next season. After all, with just four graduating seniors there will be a rush of returning varsity players next year.

“I think we will be good, just a lot smaller, but hopefully quicker,” said Berman. “We are losing some really good seniors. They were our leaders and captains and they basically controlled our team.”

2 views this week