While Thursday’s final score against Evergreen Valley wasn’t what Wilcox was hoping for, the Chargers’ junior varsity girls basketball team looks like an excellent development program for varsity Head Coach Justin Fujihara.
JV Head Coach Joseph Mosqueda has his squad playing some excellent fundamental defense. Thursday’s game against Evergreen Valley ended in a 47-32 loss, but multiple Chargers showed they could force the Cougars into turnovers. Most notably it was junior Celeste Chavoya with multiple anticipatory steals leading to fast-break opportunities at the other end. Fellow junior Ashley Jaramillo also helped facilitate a steal in combination with Chavoya in the second quarter. Not to be overshadowed was sophomore Liseth Ryezga-Garcia, who drew a charge in the first half.
“She’s always [coming up with steals],” commented Chargers’ captain Haniya Ahmed on Chavoya. “I love that about her. She’s always aggressive on defense, forcing those turnovers.”
“We got really lucky with Celeste. She’s been a great new addition to the program,” noted coach Mosqueda. “With her soccer background she can go all game, so we keep her on the ball, pursuing all the time. She has a great attitude, constantly getting after it and being the best teammate she can be and putting her body on the line for her teammates every game.”
On the offensive side of things, it was Jaramillo who stood out the most. The Chargers’ go-to outside shooter led the way with eight of the Chargers’ first 10 points and always seemed to be in the right spot at the right time. In addition to her scoring, she made a nice assist passing to Ryezga-Garcia, who nailed a bank-shot three pointer.
“With Ashley, we knew she had an ability to shoot right off the bat, so we try to set up plays for her,” remarked coach Mosqueda. “She gets after it defensively too.”
The loss drops the Chargers’ preseason record to 3-8, but with it being the second straight year that the varsity team has no seniors on the roster, the trickle down effect makes it tough on the young teams. That said, it sounds as if the players are plenty pleased with the job their coach has done, and continues to do, for the squad.
“I feel like he has the right feel for when to push us and when to lay back a bit,” noted Ahmed. “He was our assistant coach last year, and I like how he has seen how last year went and knows what buttons to push at the right time.”
As for developing a young program and preparing them for varsity, coach Mosqueda knows there will be struggles, but the process will make them better players in the future.
“We just try to build everyday through practice. We know it’s not gonna always be pretty. Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
The Chargers opened their league season on Jan. 2 when they took on the Wildcats at Los Gatos.