Boys Basketball Edged Out By St. Francis in CCS Semifinals

A heartbreaking feeling of déjà vu settled in the Santa Clara High School gym as boys basketball saw the curtains close on its CCS run. Yesterday, March 4, the Eagles suffered a razor-thin 47-49 loss against Saint Francis in the CCS semifinals. The loss was reminiscent of last year’s CCS semifinal game, in which the Eagles fell to Willow Glen High School by the same two-point margin—a single basket. But while the loss to the Lancers ended the Eagles’ CCS run, the score was representative of how well matched both teams were.

“We didn’t have a complicated game plan – it was mostly just making sure to play team defense,” senior Steven Garverick said. “It was a hard fought game and it could have gone either way.”

Saint Francis took an early lead in the low scoring contest, leading just 14-8 after a quarter of play. The Eagles clawed back, however, narrowing the Saint Francis lead to three after junior Daniel Rosenbaum hit two free throws, following a flagrant foul. By the half, Los Altos trailed 23-27.

“[Saint Francis] did pressure the ball a lot, which is something we aren’t used to,” captain senior Joey Malgesini said. “We made some mistakes on defense…a lot of little things that hurt us [in the first half].”

The third quarter began with four unanswered points by Saint Francis, forcing a Los Altos time-out with six minutes and 42 seconds remaining in the quarter. The Eagles responded with a six-point run of their own and with only a minute and 33 seconds remaining in the period, Saint Francis maintained a fragile 33-32 lead. The quarter concluded with the score 35-32.

The fourth quarter witnessed back and forth baskets by both teams, and with two and half minutes left, the Lancers held its four-point advantage. Saint Francis’s 44-40 lead held for almost two minutes, and with 52 seconds left, the margin remained four: 46-42. A clutch three pointer by Daniel Rosenbaum couldn’t hold the Lancers, however, and senior Steven Garverick’s game tying attempt with 15 seconds left fell short.

“I thought we played well—you never execute perfectly, but you certainly have a plan of attack,” Coach Bob McFarlane said. “We got the shots we wanted, but it just wasn’t our night shooting.”

While not everything went the Eagles’ way, the game represented all that made the Eagles successful during their season and led them to an upper division championship.

“The guys on the team filled their roles, and everyone contributed,” McFarlane said. “It’s hard to lose, but I feel great about what the guys accomplished.”

While the close loss is certainly a disappointment for the current squad, prospects do look strong for next season, and with two consecutive trips to the CCS semifinals, a championship run is undoubtedly possible.

“Next year, they will have a solid team,” Malgesini said. “A lot of juniors will need to step up and work together.”

Coach McFarlane reiterated that sentiment, maintaining the excitement that brought crowds to the game and wins to the team.

“I’m excited about the guys coming back, and everyone works hard—it’s a great group of [returning guys],” McFarlane said.

Congratulations to the Eagles on another successful CCS run.