All 12 players on the Wilcox roster saw playing time for the Chargers’ playoff opener on Tuesday. Wilcox would made quick work of the Westmoor Rams, winning by an eventual 61-33 final.
Leading the way for the Chargers were the usual suspects. Star guards Anna Neeley, Elise Corwin and Maison Yee each ended up with double-digit points, but it was a three-pointer from defensive standout Natalie Getz that really put the nail in the coffin early. Midway through the first quarter Westmoor cut an 11-point deficit back down to single digits. That nine-point gap was as close as Westmoor could manage the rest of the way. Getz’s three-point swish restored a 12-point advantage and essentially splashed out any hope of a Rams’ comeback.
“She’s great, that shot definitely sparked us” remarked Chargers Head Coach Justin Fujihara on Getz. “We have been trying to get her to be more offensively aggressive in terms of scoring the basketball because she is very capable. She does a lot of other things, though, that don’t go noticed on the scoreboard. In our league she has probably guarded the top one or two players from each of our opponents. She definitely picks it up for us on the defensive end.”
“I think when any of the non-usual scorers makes us a shot, I think it pumps us up a little more,” said Getz when asked about her shot igniting momentum. “We get more energized on the bench and on the court.”
Speaking of energy on the bench, one of the staples of this Chargers’ team has been the noteworthy excitement the bench shows at the end of blowout victories when the reserve players get playing time. The starters cheer on their teammates like enthusiastic parents at their children’s’ T-ball games.
“We really try to bring it on the bench and show that we are all in this together,” said Getz on the team support for everyone on the roster. “We like to support one another throughout anything. We try to support everyone too regardless whether we are winning big or losing big at the end of a game.”
Nine of the 12 Chargers players see consistent playing time. Centers Amanda McDowell and Ellen Collins tag team as the leading bigs, while Hali’a Yee, Stacey Klassen and Katherine Nguyen provide the team impressive depth at the guard position.
When additional depth players Haniya Ahmed, Liseth Ruezga Garcia and Arshprit Kaur get into the game though is when the players on the bench seem to get the most excited. One through 12, this team genuinely cares about one another regardless of each other’s role on the team.
Wilcox will hope to continue using that camaraderie and chemistry to their advantage when they take on Lynbrook in the CCS Division II semifinal on Thursday, Feb. 21.