Tigers return to CIF playoffs as OAL sectional runners up

After a major obstacle in the middle of the season, the Fremont Tigers varsity basketball team bounced back to make it to the sectional championship game and the state playoffs.

After beating Oakland High in the first round of the Oakland Athletic League playoffs, the Tigers advanced to the semifinals game against Oakland Tech on March 3. They won that game 54-46.

“I’m so proud for my team for coming together, and we’re heading back to the championship,” said senior point guard Malik Candler after the Tech victory. Coach Scot Alexander explained what gave the Tigers the edge. “We had something Tech doesn’t have and that’s some veterans that have been there before,” said Alexander. Unfortunately, that experience was not enough to overpower the McClymonds Warriors in the sectional title game on March 5 at Laney College. The two teams battled it out for the second year in a row. This year, the Tigers were especially hopeful after having defeated the Warriors 56-49 in the last regular home game of the season on Feb. 25 In front of packed bleachers, the Tigers put up a great fight against the Warriors, coming within two points late in the fourth quarter. However, the Tigers lost momentum and fell short 59-51. Yet even after the loss to Mack, the season still had some highlights to come. The Tigers qualified to play Envision Academy on March 7 for a spot in the CIF playoffs. They beat Envision in a lopsided game, 69-16, to advance. Four days later, the Tigers played Pleasant Grove in Elk Grove near Sacramento but lost 71-62. Most Tigers said they felt the season was a success, especially after having to recover from the blow that 10 wins had to be forfeited due to allegations that paperwork for transfer students had been turned into the OAL late. Without the forfeits, the Tigers record would have been 19-10.