The Wilcox Chargers boys basketball team is built in similar fashion to their football team. While not the biggest squad in the world, they thrive on their athletic ability, smarts and fitness. The squad is also similarly led by star players at the same position. Just like Paul M. Rosa and Gabe Herrera starred for the football team as tailbacks in the backfield, basketball guards Devin Baddo and Brendon Yi lead the way from the backcourt.
After their 49-41 victory over Live Oak on Thursday in the first round of Fremont High School’s annual Holiday Tournament, Wilcox is off to a nice 4-2 start to their season.
“One thing about this group is everyone trusts each other. The chemistry is really good,” said Chargers Head Coach Robert Toloy. “Practices are really energetic, we get a lot out of practices because everyone is involved and I think that is going to be a big key in our success this year too.”
In Thursday’s win it was the second quarter where the Chargers’ guards took the game over. Early in the quarter Baddo struck quickly for three three-point shots. He would add a layup in the process for an 11-point barrage. The quick scoring from the sharp-shooting senior helped extend the Chargers lead from 11-9 to 26-15.
“He’s turned out to be a pretty good shooter for us,” remarked coach Toloy on Baddo. “I think a lot of that has to do with Brendon’s ability to create and pull the defenders in and kick out for the open threes.”
“He’s a great shooter, when I find him he’s always ready to shoot it and he knocks them down,” said Yi on his backcourt partner. “Devin was the one getting us going in that second quarter.”
While Baddo’s second quarter explosion gave the Chargers the lead they would never surrender, it was Yi who actually paced the scoring with 18 points. Baddo would finish with 14. After the game Baddo talked about their chemistry working together.
“I can trust him to find me and he trusts me to find him when I get the ball,” said Baddo.
The trust factor in each other and with the rest of their teammates is crucial. In the second half Live Oak started double teaming Baddo. The extra attention initially seemed to stifle the Chargers’ offense. At one point after coach Toloy called timeout, the Chargers’ following possession ended with a shot-clock violation.
“No comment,” joked coach Toloy on the ill-timed shot-clock violation. “I didn’t even see the clock, that was my mistake.”
The Chargers would see their 11-point second-quarter lead dwindle to as little as a four-point advantage in the fourth quarter, but that was as close as the Acorns would get.
Yi and the rest of Chargers fought through the Baddo double team to get some inside looks, drawing fouls and knocking down their free throws to seal the win. Junior Jon Chang, in particular, came off the bench and hit some key free throws to go along with some strong defense and excellent passing.
Wilcox will look to continue building on their strong play as they finish up the Holiday Tournament. They will then head down to Santa Cruz for one last tournament before opening league play at home against Saratoga on Jan. 4.