The final buzzer sounded, capping another Fremont basketball season.
The Saratoga Falcons spoiled the Fremont Firebird senior night by coming back from a 15-point deficit and beating the home team 69-61 on Tuesday night.
On this night, however, a loss was the last thing on the Fremont seniors’ minds. Families and friends with large posters snapped photos with their seniors. Smiles were spread across the faces of the Fremont players and their families as they continued to celebrate senior night after the final horn sounded.
Five of the eight seniors on the Firebird team started the game. Two of the most impactful players on the floor from the Fremont side were center Jay Stanton and point guard Omri Sokol.
To say it was an amazing night on senior night was an understatement, according to Stanton.
“To be honest with you, it felt like an actual dream that came to life,” Stanton said on his senior night. “It was everything I hoped for.”
Fremont coach Tony Kikuta was pleased with the play of his seniors. He thought that they played their best game of the season.
“Jay shot fantastic to start,” coach Kikuta said. “That’s something he’s been doing a good job in practice in terms of shooting and finishing.”
Stanton hit three three-pointers in the first half, including back-to-back triples. His shooting and overall play would help spark the Firebirds.
Coach Kikuta would go on to praise the rest of the starting group, including Sokol.
“The ball movement and spacing with the first group was fantastic,” coach Kikuta noted. “I thought Omri played fantastic. It doesn’t maybe show up in total points scored, but he was all over the court. He was dominant. He kept us in the game.”
Sokol had several assists to teammates for layups and easy looks at the basket, and a nice block on a three-point attempt from Saratoga.
The Firebirds played hard, but the Falcons forced the home team into turnovers off of a full-court press and they made their run. Saratoga closed the first half on a 9-1 run to slice the Firebird lead to seven after Fremont led 32-17 early in the second quarter.
Saratoga had another run in the second half to tie the game and soon took the lead in the third quarter. The two teams would trade baskets and the game would seesaw back and forth. It wasn’t until the Falcons got an and-1 basket and a couple of layups that would help separate themselves from Fremont.
The Firebirds fought until the end, but ultimately came up short in the last game of the season. In the end, congratulatory hugs and smiles were exchanged with the happiness and warmth flowing through the gym.
“Even though we didn’t get the win, it was fun to just play with my friends and my brothers,” Stanton said of his final game in red and white.