It’s not often that high school basketball teams hit triple digits on the scoreboard. With four seconds remaining in their contest against Silver Creek on Tuesday, the Wilcox Chargers had one last chance with the ball. It was their only opportunity to potentially reach the rare century mark.
Arlind Astafa’s bucket on their previous possession had put Wilcox up 98-73 over Silver Creek. When Emil Urquidez came down with the final rebound, though, the senior did the appropriate thing and let time run out. The Chargers did not need any more points as they thoroughly dominated the Raiders from start to finish.
“We’re very fortunate we have depth; we have multiple guys that can score,” chimed first-year Wilcox Head Coach Ruben Camacho on his squad’s impressive, well-balanced performance. “And they are very unselfish. They give up the ball, get the ball back, because of that, we have a lot of guys who can score.”
After a practice where Camacho promised the winning scrimmage team the opportunity to start, the rotations were a bit different. Camacho split up the usual starters for the practice scrimmage to create an ultra-competitive atmosphere. That meant more starting time for a role player like junior Ian Smith, who arguably received the loudest cheer from the crowd when he drove the lane and got a layup to foul despite a hard foul knocking him to the floor.
“He was on the winning team at practice and today was his chance [to shine]. I told him, ‘Hey, you’re going to play a lot,’ and he took advantage of the situation and played really well,” noted Camacho.
The benefit of elite-level depth isn’t lost on the top scorers from Tuesday’s game. Both junior Miles Bonilla and senior captain Mohan Panwar expressed excitement for what’s to come the rest of this season given the fact the team doesn’t have to rely on one or two guys to score.
“If the first unit isn’t doing good, the second unit comes in and gives us a boost of energy,” remarked Bonilla. “We mixed things up with the rotations tonight and the energy was great for both units.”
“It’s really fun not having to worry about [needing one player to score]. We just gotta focus on the real aspect of the game, which is to have fun,” added Panwar. “We play as a team, don’t have to worry about one person carrying the load.”
Both Bonilla and Panwar were extremely efficient from beyond the arc on Tuesday. But they weren’t the only ones scoring from outside. David Malinson hit the Chargers’ first three of the game after a strong block at the defensive end. Brayden Rosa also hit from deep, as did Miles’ twin brother Tyson Bonilla. Semaj Clark looked impressive driving to the lane from his guard position, as did Rylan Chang.
And arguably the best player of the night, up there with Miles Bonilla and Panwar, was Paulie Majoulet. The senior drained a couple outside buckets and then used his ability to cut inside when the defense started jumping out to guard him tight beyond the arc.
With the win, Wilcox improves to 7-5 overall as they get into the crux of the league season. They’ll look to improve to 2-0 in league when they take on Monta Vista on Jan. 6.