Whether at the high school level or the professional level, all sports teams eventually go through the time period of the dreaded rebuild. That’s where the Santa Clara Bruins boys basketball team finds itself this season.
Tuesday night’s double-digit home loss to the Lynbrook Vikings was especially disappointing for the Bruins, as the team had previously lost on the road to Lynbrook by just a single bucket.
“We were optimistic coming into tonight,” remarked first-year Bruins Head Coach Stephen Forester before becoming quite candid on what went wrong. “My team doesn’t listen. The biggest thing we talked about right before the game was their lack of ability to listen and follow instructions.
“It all starts pregame,” continued Forester. “I say, ‘Hey I need you guys to wait in the weight room.’ They come back in [the gym]. I tell them again to go wait in the weight room. They come back in here again. So, two times, I have to repeat myself on very simple instructions. So, I’m like, ‘You guys are really setting us up for failure.’”
Given the nature of the team’s pregame mistakes, according to the head coach, it’s not terribly surprising then to hear the players suggest that their energy level coming out to start the game was a big part of why they struggled.
“I think it was the energy we had in the beginning and also coming out of halftime,” admitted senior guard Apollo Son. “We weren’t pumped up as usual. When we played Lynbrook before, we were really hyped and excited to play and I think that’s what carried our team to a closer game.”
“I don’t think the energy was there,” echoed sophomore guard David Ovasisi. “We had high hopes for this game because we only lost to them last time on a game-winning shot at the end. When we were down at halftime, I think that got into our heads, knowing we had to play catch up.”
Lynbrook definitely made it difficult for the Bruins to play catch up. There were stretches where the Bruins played some good basketball. Rayan Musleh had a particularly nice second quarter with some tough inside layups, and the Bruins finished off the second quarter with back-to-back strong defensive stops with two big blocks.
Unfortunately for Bruins supporters, their squad simply couldn’t sustain any runs to the point of a comeback, with Lynbrook’s three-point shooting being on point throughout the game.
Fortunately for Bruins fans, the team does have some young talent. While it will see seven of its 15-man roster graduate this spring, there are two sophomores and a freshman already playing at the varsity level. Along with Ovasisi, Gurman Goraya is also a 2026 class member and Vishva Ravi is part of the 2027 freshman class.
Santa Clara will continue to rebuild with its youth as the league season winds down. The Bruins finish the season with three more games against Saratoga on Feb. 1, Homestead on Feb. 6, and Fremont on Feb. 13.