The Wilcox Chargers varsity basketball squad got behind the eight ball early on Friday night against league rival Mountain View. Wilcox fell behind the Spartans 13-2 in the first quarter and the Chargers were fighting an uphill battle the rest of the way.
To its credit, though, Wilcox kept plugging away. Head Coach Ruben Camacho called his first timeout, and immediately afterward, the Chargers clawed back into the game with a 6-0 run to pull back to within five at 13-8.
Unfortunately for Wilcox supporters, every time their Chargers seemed to be on a potential big run, the Spartans made sure it was a short-lived flurry.
Mountain View immediately followed the Chargers’ 6-0 run with a 7-0 run of its own, building the lead back up to 20-8. Chargers guard Semaj Clark hit a buzzer-beating three pointer to end the first quarter at 20-11, but Mountain View would sink the first bucket of the second quarter.
After a big three by junior Dylan Camacho made the score 22-14, Mountain View responded with a bucket on its next possession. This theme continued throughout the remainder of the quarter.
Towards the end of the second frame, the Chargers cut a 12-point deficit down to 6 on the strength of impressive play from junior Brayden Rosa. A three ball from Rosa made the score 34-25.
After a Chargers defensive stop, Rosa then made an impressive cross-over move to gain space inside the paint and was fouled shooting a floater. The first free throw dropped in and on the subsequent miss of the second free throw, the Chargers came down with the offensive rebound. Moments later, Clark finished off a layup to pull the squad to within 34-28.
Once again, though, the Spartans denied the Chargers from extending the run to really get back in the game. Mountain View ended the half on a 5-0 run of its own, taking an 11-point lead into the locker room.
“Sense of urgency,” responded Camacho on what the Chargers were missing in the first half. “We can’t let teams get out to fast starts. It’s early, but 11 points, just getting that back is tough. You can’t give up those kinds of leads. They are a disciplined team over there. They aren’t going to let you get back into the game by turning the ball over a lot.”
Despite not being able to force many turnovers, the Chargers never folded in this one. Even after falling behind by as many as 18 early in the fourth quarter, Wilcox once again pulled back within eight points with just under three minutes remaining.
Had a few more outside shots fallen, or had the Spartans not had such a lights out shooting night, the 73-62 final score could have been flip flopped. The score ended up dead even, 60-60, after that opening 13-2 run.
Wilcox will now look to bounce back and pick up its first league win of the season when the Chargers travel to Los Gatos to take on the rival Wildcats on Tuesday, Jan. 9.