CCS: Boys take a disappointing loss against Hillsdale, ending season

March 9, 2019 — by Leo Cao and Jeffrey Xu

As senior captain and guard Kyle Yu jumped up to get an offensive rebound after a missed 3-pointer during the CCS quarterfinal against Hillsdale on Feb. 19, he was hopelessly outmatched by the opposing 6-foot 5-inch tall Knight, sophomore Robert Vaihola, who instantly snagged the rebound.

This was a recurring theme throughout the game, in which the Falcon boys found themselves continuously being outrebounded by the Knights in the paint, losing several potential scoring opportunities. The Falcons lost 63-45, eliminating them from the CCS Division 3 tournament in the quarterfinalists.

“They had a big post man that kept getting the rebounds

and hurting us in the paint,” Yu said. “We couldn’t stop him.”

Despite being outrebounded, the Falcons still fought to make several good plays throughout the game, with Yu getting a steal off a bad pass early in the first quarter and sophomore guard Cameron King hitting a corner 3-pointer shortly afterward.

Both King and Yu would continue make more 3-pointers throughout the game, ending with 14 and 19 points respectively, but the efforts were not enough to regain the lead.

Head coach Patrick Judge’s main focus throughout the CCS games was for the players to stick to their normal principles during the season, which were to shoot 3s, pass and cut.

For the game against Hillsdale, Judge advised the players to stay disciplined and solid on defense, making sure not to commit reaching fouls. Also, due to the larger Knights, Judge also told the Falcons to box out together and rebound as a team, in order to compensate for their height disadvantage.

Adding to the difficulties for the Falcons was the absence of senior forward Patrick Li, who was out due to an ankle injury suffered in a regular season game against Lynbrook. In the end, the handicapped Falcons crumbled against the well-disciplined Hillsdale defense.

The Falcons advanced to in the quarterfinals after their first round 60-52 win against Del Mar on Feb. 16 at home.

The starters of the game were sophomore guard Tyler Chu, King, senior forward Sehij Dhindsa, senior guard Hanlin Sun and Yu. The top scorers for the game were Yu and Dhindsa, who put up 20 and 16 points, respectively. While Chu was not a top scorer, he had six blocks.

Yu believes that better ball-handling and perfecting 3-pointers will help the boys improve their overall performance next year.

Despite a disappointing finish, Yu said that the season was still a success.

“We could have made it further in CCS playoffs but fell a little short,” Yu said. “But we all still had a lot of fun playing together.”

Having been playing basketball at Saratoga High since his freshman year and been on the varsity team since sophomore year, Yu looks back at his high school basketball journey with mixed feelings.

“I love to play the game, and it’s sadly ending, but now a lot of my time is freed up to do whatever I want,” Yu said. “I’m also going to miss playing with my teammates, but I can still play with them in open gyms some time in the future.”

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