Season over for boys’ basketball

March 5, 2009 — by Vijay Menon

The Falcons’ season came to a close on March 24 as the team suffered a 47-36 defeat at Del Mar in the first round of CCS. The loss capped a season of streaky play for the Falcons, who went 11-15 overall and 4-7 in league play.

“The CCS loss was a disappointing one for the team,” said coach Trevor Naas. “It is always hard to lose that last game knowing that it puts an end to your season.”

Saratoga came into the game ranked 13th in Division III and took on 12th ranked Del Mar. The team struggled offensively, falling behind 12-4 after the first quarter. The team scored only one point in the third quarter negating a 20-point fourth quarter.

Senior forward Christian Biederman and junior guard Daniel Chou were bright spots for the Falcon offense, scoring 11 and nine points, respectively, but their efforts were not enough.

Although the team was upset with the loss and had higher expectations for their season, they still accomplished their preseason goal of qualification for CCS.

“I would say talent-wise, we’re probably the best team in our league,” said senior guard Ryan Pak. “We just didn’t play up to our potential.”

The game ended a season that was characterized by long streaks of wins and losses. During a strong four-game win streak in the middle of the season, the team racked up big wins, including a triumph over rival Los Gatos, but the team stumbled down the stretch, dropping nine of its last 12 contests.

In their last regular season game against Milpitas on Feb. 20, the Falcons remained competitive until the fourth quarter on the strength of individual performances from Chou and senior guard Owen Huang. Chou scored 18 points, knocking down five three-pointers, and Huang added 14 points to go along with three assists, but Milpitas outscored Saratoga 22-12 in the final period to put the game out of reach for a 55-41 win.
Prior to the loss to Milpitas, Saratoga visited Monta Vista on Feb. 17 in an important league match-up. Junior forward Andy Johnson came up one rebound short of a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds, but the Falcons couldn’t recover from a six-point second quarter and went on to lose 55-44.

On Feb. 13, the team hosted Santa Clara and displayed strong scoring. Despite a four-point deficit entering the fourth, the Falcons prevailed by a score of 70-63 while celebrating senior night in front of their home fans.

The Falcons traveled to league rival Mountain View on Feb. 10 where they escaped with a victory in an 87-83 double-overtime thriller. The 87 points scored by the Falcons totaled a season high for the team.

Coming back from a tough home loss to Lynbrook on Feb. 6, Saratoga trailed Mountain View by three points at half time. The team erased a single point deficit heading into the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. The teams were tied 77-77 after the first overtime period. The game was only settled in the 2nd overtime where the Falcons outscored Mountain View 13-9 en route to a four-point win.

The team enjoyed 19-point outbursts from Huang, Biederman and Pak. Huang added four assists and Biederman collected nine rebounds to lead the team.

Despite a lackluster end to the season, the Falcons are still optimistic for their chances of further success next season.

“The last couple weeks of the season may not have turned out the way we would have liked,” said Naas, “but this team did accomplish the goal of making CCS and there is a lot to look forward to.”

The junior class, highlighted by three-point threat Chou, and the upcoming sophomore group provide hope for the Falcons heading into next year.

“I know that those guys are going to continue to work hard and improve this off season as we start getting ready for next year,” said Naas.

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