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Short-handed Chargers Hang Tough, But Fall to Los Altos

An often heard cliché in the sporting world is “you make your own luck,” but in the case of the Wilcox Chargers, their poor-luck excuse is a valid one. The basketball season is already halfway through the league portion of the schedule and yet the Chargers have not once been able to play with their full squad.

Senior leader and four-year captain Elise Corwin has missed 12 out of 18 games with a concussion and then an ankle injury. She returned a few games ago and against Los Altos on Tuesday and shined to the tune of 20 points. Unfortunately, both her younger sister Olivia Corwin and Natalie Getz missed the game with injuries. The two juniors are some of the squad’s top players. Without them, the rest of the Chargers managed just a combined 13 points.

“Not one game have we been 100 percent healthy,” remarked Chargers Head Coach Justin Fujihara. “Every single game, somebody has been out. Our young players have been getting thrown in the fire.”

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“So frustrating,” remarked Elise Corwin on not being able to have everyone on the court. “I’m out, then [my sister’s] out. It’s hard to get your team chemistry together when people keep getting hurt.”

With the injuries, one of the players who stepped up with a couple of impressive buckets was Sahithi Karumudi. The senior finished off two buckets with impressive turn-around jumpers inside the paint. One of them went for a three-point play which she completed with a successful free throw.

Fellow senior Haniya Ahmed also converted a tough shot while drawing a foul, but overall the offense just wasn’t enough for the Chargers. Wilcox kept the game with six points most of the game, but Los Altos pulled away late for a 46-33 win.

One of the struggles for the Chargers was pulling away from the Eagles’ full-court press. In one sequence, junior Amanda McDowell found senior Liseth Ruezga Garcia all alone down court for a long pass and catch. Garcia was then able to lay in the bucket as she was behind all the Eagles defenders. Unfortunately, the Eagles pressed more often than not, forcing the Chargers into turning the ball over.

“The challenge of facing the press was partially because the people we usually have to break the press were not active tonight,” noted coach Fujihara. “That put other people in positions that they don’t normally play to have to try and break the press.”

“They are long and athletic so, when I’m in the corner, I can’t necessarily see very well,” added Corwin on breaking out of the press. “The hardest part is that [Los Altos] would pretend like a play was open for a second and then collapse on it. They were definitely messing with us, which was smart on their part.”

The loss drops the Chargers’ record to 1-6 in league. They will search for win number two next when they play at Cupertino on Friday, Jan. 31.

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