The 81-68 defeat came in the semifinals of the D-IV NorCal basketball tournament – two games away from the Division IV state championship game.
“I think everyone tried incredibly hard,” said senior guard Angela Silver. “It just wasn’t enough.”
The Falcons led 37-30 at halftime before a raucous home crowd, but the visiting Braves put together a third quarter for the ages against the Falcons and their full court press.
Brave senior Sadie Irving attacked the basket incessantly and went 3-for-4 from three point range in the third to help her team to a 30-12 advantage during eight scorching minutes.
“They came out and hit everything they took,” Scotts Valley Head Coach Jim Hart said. “I have to tip my hat to them. They knocked down big shots when they needed them.”
Braves Head Coach Mike Boles said he revisited the keys to the game at halftime, which included playing stronger defense, controlling the defensive glass and focusing on scoring after beating the pressure from Scotts Valley’s 2-2-1 press.
As for Irving’s 17-point outburst after halftime, it wasn’t completely unexpected, Boles said.
“She’s had a couple of nights like that where she gets it going,” he said.
Irving finished with a game, and season-high 28 points, followed by teammate and fellow senior Haley Cremen with 27, including going 9-for-11 from the free throw line.
“At halftime we were just told we needed to get ourselves together,” Irving said. “We needed to slow down and stay composed. Coach knew all along that we had it in us.”
Scotts Valley trailed 60-49 entering the fourth quarter, but made a push even though senior Nadene Hart fouled out with 6:49 left, trailing 60-51.
After several steals and layups, Angela Silver drained a three pointer with 3:20 left to bring the Falcons within four, at 66-62.
However, the Falcons could never get closer, and had to resort to fouling down the stretch and Siena went 17-for-18 from the free throw line to ice the game.
Silver and Hart led the Falcons with 17 points apiece, while junior Charlie Boyle scored 11 and Mandy Silver notched 10.
The Falcons had reached the semifinal game with a physical 58-48 victory over visiting Cardinal Newman School on Saturday, March 15.
In that contest, the Falcons forced 36 turnovers and the Silver sisters scored 15 points apiece to lead the scoring. Cardinal Newman remained in the game by going 21-31 from the free throw line as three Falcon starters fouled out.
The Falcons had a season for the ages.
The team went 25-6 overall including a preseason win over St. Francis of Mountain View and three point win over Archbishop Mitty in the first round of the Open Division Central Coast Section tournament on February 28.
The team was undefeated in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League with no league game closer than 32 points. The team’s dominance qualified them as the second seed in the Open Division where they fell to powerhouses St. Ignatius High School and Pinewood High School.
“If nothing else, they always played with tremendous effort,” Hart said. “This was a wonderful year.”
The team averaged 21 wins per season, Jim Hart said, and his daughter Nadene and Angela Silver went down as the top two scorers in school history.
Hart said it will be bittersweet not coaching his daughter anymore.
“Nadene has done a fabulous job having her dad as coach,” he said. “She and Angela are going to go down 1 and 2 in scoring in the history of the school. They are two of the best players to ever come out of (Scotts Valley).”
The seniors won two league championships and made two trips to the NorCal championship.