Round two loss ends solid season

March 1, 2011 — by Karthik Annaamalai and Roy Bisht

Although the boys’ basketball team lost to Mills 59-43 in round two of CCS on Feb. 24, their season was filled with highlights such as beating cross-town rivals, the Los Gatos Wildcats, 57-47 and crushing the Monterey Vikings 73-56 in the first round of CCS.

For senior point guard Alex Chan, this season was perhaps the most memorable out of the four years he has played basketball for Saratoga.

“Winning against a rival always feels good,” said Chan, “especially when it’s a team like Los Gatos.”

Despite overcoming Mills’ stout defense earlier in the season in a 50-30 preseason win, the Falcons were unable to put points on the board during their CCS match-up. The Falcons’ offense stalled until well into the second quarter, and they still only scored six points.

“We had a tough time out there,” senior guard Tyler Jew said. “We weren’t executing well and had poor shot selection. Our offense picked up in the second half, but it was too late by then.”

In the first game against Mills, sophomore Steve Berman scored with ease, accounting for 20 of the team’s 50 points. However, in the CCS game, Mills center Phillip Rognerud held Berman in check, allowing him to score 10 points, while scoring 12 of his own.

Down by 9 entering the final quarter, the Falcons looked to pull off a fourth-quarter comeback, but were unable to as the Mills resilient defense extended the team’s lead to 19.

“Mills played smart and worked well as a team,” Jew said. “And we lacked the fire and spirit that we had during the first CCS game [against Monterey].”

The Falcons’ first round game against Monterey on Feb. 22 was a whole different story. Berman led the red-hot offense with 24 of the team’s 73 points, a season-high for both Berman and the Falcons. Berman, usually known for his low-post game, also hit three three-pointers in the contest.

Berman has been a constant force by providing both size and skill. The Falcons will be able to count on Berman next year as well as sophomore guard Kyle Dozier.

According to junior guard Brandon Pak, Dozier “became the go-to man” after senior guard Chris Guengerich suffered an ankle injury midway through the season.

“[Dozier] has the ability to find holes in the defense,” said Pak, “ and is great at driving to the basket when he sees those holes.”

Despite losing in the second round of CCS, senior forward Jasneil Nat labeled their season as a success. They improved in almost every single category from the previous year, placing 3rd in the league with a 16-10 record. Not only did they qualify for CCS this year after failing to do so last year, they also won their first CSS game in three years.

“After starting off league with a record of 1-3, we showed a lot of improvement,” said Nat. “But since I’m a senior [last Thursday] was my last basketball game and I am devastated—I just want to cry.”

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