Although most high school students spend the summer enjoying a couple months of lethargy, relaxing was not part of the plan for the Freedom JV basketball team, as the young Falcons took to the hardwood for two tournaments and summer league competition during the two-month summer break.
After a successful freshman season, in which the Falcons finished third in the BVAL, they continued their success with a 14-4 summer league record, which included winning the Antioch Summer League for the second year in a row. They also placed third at the prestigious Reno Summer Shootout in July.
While most kids are hanging out with their friends, or vacationing with their families, these kids dedicated themselves to getting better at something they love, said third-year JV Coach Kevin Bain.
The Falcons opened the tournament with a 54-25 victory over the Galena Grizzlies, a team from Reno. Forward Leontae Thomas led the Falcons with 14 points, while teammate Dalton Weger added 12. The Falcons completed the first day of competition with a hard-fought 48-37 win against Damonte Ranch. Sophomore Jeff Matteri led the way with a trio of three-point buckets in the second half on his way to 11 points, helping the Falcons reach the quarterfinals.
An early game the next day didn't deter the young Falcons, as they sprung past Spanish Springs High School with a 58-34 victory.
The young Falcons found themselves in the third-place championship game against Fremont's Washington High School on the final day and almost slept through it. Faced with a 19-5 deficit after the first 10 minutes, Bain called a timeout and rallied his troops.
An up-tempo, full-court press helped the Falcons close the gap by halftime, trailing 29-24. Washington came out firing in the second half, but the Falcons answered the call. Matteri found his three-point range and Weger dominated the interior as the two led their team to a 55-52 victory. Weger finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The Falcons came home and wrapped up the Antioch Summer League with victories over Clayton Valley (51-19) and Concord (61-39), finishing with a 7-1 record, their second straight Antioch Summer League title and valuable momentum heading into the upcoming season.
Assist leaders John Nichols and Jon Jon Greenhouse, blocked-shots leader Briscoe Allen, and steals leader, freshman Jehiah Jenero, were all pivotal to the team's success. Michael Kicenski, Jacob Ubrich, Marquise Williams and Cameron Short rounded out the team.
Contributed by Jabe Geoffroy