With their 51-35 victory over Mountain View on Tuesday, the Wilcox Chargers improved to 9-2 in league play. The win cements a second-place finish in the De Anza League with one game remaining.
The lone contest left on the Chargers’ schedule will see them host first-place (10-0) Palo Alto on Friday, Feb. 8. A win for Wilcox and a second Vikings loss in their season finale against Saratoga on Monday, Feb. 11 would earn the Chargers a tie atop the division standings at 10-2. It may not seem like a likely outcome as the Saratoga Falcons are just 3-7 thus far on the season, but the Falcons only lost to Palo Alto by four in their prior matchup.
Wilcox meanwhile fell to the Vikings by six the last time they played. That said, that contest didn’t feature the Chargers at full strength. They had to get by with key senior Ellen Collins playing at less than 100 percent, and star sophomore Maison Yee left the game with a first-quarter injury and did not return.
Even though both Palo Alto and Wilcox are assured spots in the CCS playoffs, the Chargers will be amped up on their senior night to prove that they can indeed knock off the first-place Vikings.
“I’m feeling much better now than I did a few weeks ago,” acknowledged Collins after the win over the Spartans. “I think we did a good job keeping our focus on tonight’s game and now we can carry that through into practice the next two days and come out strong on Friday.”
“I didn’t get a chance to really help my teammates on either end in that game,” remarked Yee on only playing part of the first quarter in the Chargers’ 52-46 loss to the Vikings back on Jan. 18. “I’m back playing now, looking forward to [the rematch].”
Wilcox Head Coach Justin Fujihara admitted that it was indeed hard not to look ahead and see the Palo Alto game looming in the distance.
“It is hard not to look ahead, it really is,” said the coach. “But the best way for us is to always respect our opponent and not overlook anybody. We concentrated on Mountain View today regardless of wins and losses on their end or our end. We have to respect that anyone can win and we can be beaten. That’s been our thing the entire season.”
Just like his players, Fujihara is excited to get another crack at the Spartans.
“When you are two players down and you lose a tight game, you always ask yourself, ‘what if everyone was healthy?’” acknowledged coach Fujihara. “Going into this second round game against them, we have everybody feeling good. I know Ellen is excited for a multitude of reasons, not just the game and that she’s able to play, but also that it’s going to be our senior night. It’s going to be a celebration no matter what.”
In addition to Collins, the Chargers will be celebrating seniors Anna Neeley, Stacey Klassen and Katherine Nguyen prior to tipoff on Friday.