The Wilcox Chargers basketball squad finished off the league season Friday night with a 78-56 win over the Fremont Firebirds. Wilcox ends the campaign atop the division with a 10-2 record. Fremont’s 3-9 mark has them at the bottom of the division this year, but star junior Dev Chatha’s confidence is unwavering when it comes to looking forward to next season.
“The goal for us next year is to win league and I think that is very achievable,” said Chatha. “Especially with a young group becoming more experienced. We’re gonna have a full season next year and I definitely think we are going to have a chance to prove ourselves.”
Chatha averaged over 20 points per game for the Firebirds this season. Head Coach Tony Kikuta believes Chatha was the best player in the El Camino league this season.
“He averaged 25 points this season and is a three-level scorer. He rebounds, plays defense, he kind of does it all for us,” praised Kikuta. “Every team in the league game plans to try and stop him.”
At the other end of the court, the comparable guy who teams look to stop would be Wilcox senior Isaiah Frazier. A similarly built, strong inside scorer, Frazier finished with 20 points in Friday’s win, but the key difference between the two clubs is that Frazier had two elite shooters draining threes on the perimeter.
Senior Solomon Gebre and junior Dylan Diashyn each went 5-for-7 from beyond the arc.
“Both Dylan and Solomon were firing away and draining them tonight,” said Frazier. “If we want to be a really good team, they have to be shooting and producing points because it can’t just come from one spot. When Dylan started draining threes, that was major, because at times he can drain threes seemingly at will.”
One of the things any team can do at will if they chose to put in the work ethic, is compete with a high-pressure defense. Without having much size on their roster, the team’s intensity on defense is what Chargers Head Coach Robert Toloy says allows them to flourish at the other end.
“There is no doubt that we put a lot of emphasis on our full-court pressure, on our defensive play. It’s our bread and butter, it’s what we do,” noted Toloy. “It’s what changes the game and allows us to control the tempo. Early in the season every game we were coming from behind and it was the defense that got us going. Crucial steals at the end allowed us to turn the corner and win some of those games.”
While the defense has been solid all season, the offense seems to be getting hot as the season winds down.
“There’s still a huge upside for this team,” asaid Toloy. “Hopefully, we’re starting to peak at the right time.”
For now, the Chargers will continue practicing while awaiting the CCS playoff schedule.