Irnes Sarvan, a 6’7” post player on the Santa Clara Bruins snatched an offensive rebound away from the shorter Fremont Firebirds of Sunnyvale and put it back into the basket. It was one of several offensive rebounds the Firebirds gave up in their 50-39 loss to the Bruins on Friday night at Santa Clara High School.
The offensive rebounds and turnovers the Firebirds gave up were the difference in the basketball game. The extra possessions the Bruins got off rebounds were due to a lack of boxing out the offensive players from the Firebirds and the size that Santa Clara presented.
“We talked a lot about boxing out,” Fremont coach Tony Kikuta explained. “We just didn’t really do a good job in that area. They missed a lot of shots. They worked really hard and got a lot of offensive rebounds.”
One of the bright spots for Fremont was reserve guard Frankie Maldonado, who hit a few shots and played solid defense while out on the floor.
“I move, look inside to the post and keep shooting and looking for my shot, not only for myself, but for my teammates,” Maldonado said.
For much of the first half and into the third quarter, the Firebirds did not move the ball as crisply as their offense demands it. However, for much of the fourth quarter, Fremont moved the ball more than they did in the previous three quarters. It was one of the positives for Fremont.
“I think we did a good job in the fourth quarter. We started to move the ball more quickly and dribble-penetrate,” coach Kikuta said.
There were some aspects on the offensive end that needed to be cleaned up, including moving and cutting without the basketball, according to coach Kikuta.
“I think that if we had done that the whole game then I think we certainly would’ve done better, in terms of offensively,” coach Kikuta said.
The length and size of Santa Clara gave Fremont fits on both ends of the floor. The shot contests from the Bruins post players bothered the Firebirds on the offensive end and on the defensive end, the height and size of the Bruin centers gave them issues on the rebounding part of the game.
“They just out-rebounded us. We weren’t boxing out and it comes down to those little things and they beat us like that,” Maldonado said.
Were there any other positives to the game other than playing with more energy in the fourth quarter?
“I think we did a pretty good job of playing defense on the ball,” Kikuta noted. “We didn’t give up a lot of threes to their shooters, which is something we had game-planned for.”
Defense is one of the hallmark traits that the Firebirds hang their hat on, holding the Bruins to only 50 points the entire game.
The Firebirds will try to right the ship on Tuesday night when they play Monta Vista at home at 7 p.m.