In heartbreaking fashion, the boys basketball team’s CCS run came to an end last night, February 26. In the semifinals match against tough opponent Willow Glen High School, the Eagles lost in a close battle 57-59. As the Willow Glen Rams started to pull away towards the end of the fourth quarter, the Eagles made one final push that wasn’t quite enough.
The Eagles started strong, breaking down Willow Glen’s zone defense.
“We started off really good offensively with threes because they started in a zone,” sophomore Daniel Rosenbaum said.
Willow Glen quickly switched to a man defense, forcing the Eagles to change their game. Due to the Eagles having to adjust and having some communication breakdowns, Willow Glen was able to gain momentum.
“Early we lacked communication allowing them easy layups on back-door cuts,” Daniel said.
Los Altos continued to hit shots and was able to keep the game tied at 26-26 going into the second half. To start the third quarter, Willow Glen forced back-to-back steals. The Rams picked up the tempo and begin to connect on long three-pointers.
“We needed to make a push and run on them in the third quarter, but we allowed them to fast break and hit threes,” Daniel said. “In practice it was our goal to stop their three-pointers, but we did not execute very well.”
The Eagles rallied from behind and hit big shots in order to stay in the game going into the fourth quarter. Willow Glen continued to play at a fast-pace throughout the fourth quarter, and the Ram’s lead continued to grow. With about two minutes left in the game, the Eagles were down by 9. It looked all but over when Los Altos made one final push.
Starting with a deep three-pointer by senior guard Nate Viera, the Eagles began to mount a comeback. After a defensive stop, the Eagles marched down the court and hit another three-pointer. Willow Glen split free throws, and with under a minute left, the Eagles were down by 4 with possession of the ball.
After a few missed three-point attempts, the Eagles settled for a late two-pointer. After being forced to foul Willow Glen, the Eagles snatched a rebound with half a second left. Down by two points, Los Altos needed a miracle to win or send the game into overtime. The inbound pass was swatted down by a Willow Glen defender, eliminating the Eagles from CCS championship contention.
“We didn’t make our push until it was too late,” Daniel said. “In the end we didn’t have enough time.”
The Eagles advanced further in CCS this year than ever before in school history. After an undefeated season in league, Los Altos had a hugely successful first season under head coach Bob McFarlane.
“That game was really tough,” Daniel said. “It was really tough for everyone after the game.”
Returning three of the five starters, the Eagles look to rebound next year and build off of an unprecedented season.