It was senior night for the Lynbrook Vikings basketball team on Tuesday and the home team certainly did not disappoint their raucous crowd. Lynbrook blazed out of the gates, capitalizing on the energy from the pregame ceremonies to the tune of a 19-4 first-quarter lead.
The Bruins would eventually claw back to tie the game at 38-38 in the third quarter, but their comeback would go for naught. There was simply no stopping the Vikings’ onslaught. Lynbrook finished the game with 10 three pointers, seemingly draining every attempt they took from deep. In the fourth quarter, the Vikings banked in two three-point shots off the glass, one by their tall, lanky center that had the home fans going bananas.
“Since we beat them the first time, I think we got a little too ahead of ourselves,” admitted Bruins senior Shinya Sargent. “We thought this was going to be easy and the first quarter hurt us. They hit us hard in the mouth. When we started to get going, they would make big shots too.”
“We were just giving them opportunities on offense, we weren’t closing out properly, we weren’t screening out and they were getting open shots,” said Santa Clara Assistant Coach Justin Dixon. “We know where their shooters were, but we didn’t cover in time. We just came out flat. We should have known Lynbrook was going to come out hard on their senior night.”
The Bruins’ hot stretch where they came back to tie was fueled primarily by Sargent and junior Jack Fukuda. Each of them were able to drive the lane and get buckets inside. Fukuda in particular showed off some impressive speed cutting through the lane.
“He has tons of speed, he’s really athletic and can get around corners,” noted Sargent on Fukuda. “He’s a good kid too and works incredibly hard.”
After all that work Sargent and Fukuda put in to pull the Bruins back, the Vikings started to pull away. Lynbrook drained a buzzer-beating three at the end of the third quarter to carry a nine-point lead into the fourth. They would score the first basket of the final quarter to go up 11. At that point things were looking bleak for Santa Clara, but the Bruins managed to claw back yet again.
After a power layup from Nathan Burns and a fast-break layup from Fukuda, the Bruins were back within seven. That’s when Santa Clara’s sharp-shooting guard Fredge Ramos launched a shot not only from downtown, but basically from downtown Milpitas. Ramos drained the shot from a full four feet behind the line to bring the Bruins within four.
Unfortunately for Bruins fans, that would be as close as their squad would get the rest of the game. The final game of the season for both teams simply belonged to the home team. Lynbrook was knocking down all sorts of acrobatic attempts and desperation three-point shots.
Santa Clara finishes the season with an overall record of 10-13 and a league mark of 4-8.