If you are a fan of Wilcox Chargers basketball, Wednesday’s wild 70-61 victory over Everett Alvarez in the first round of CCS is not one you will soon forget. The Chargers saw a five-point third quarter lead evaporate into an eight-point deficit when the visiting Eagles soared to a 15-2 run. Wilcox would respond immediately down 50-42 with a sparkling 9-0 run of their own. Chargers fans went crazy during this sequence where the Eagles barely touched the ball and Wilcox regained a one-point lead. Thanks to some impressive defense by senior guard Jarius Baddo, the Chargers got five quick points off steals from right underneath the offensive basket as a part of that 9-0 run. One of those steals led to an and-one play finished off by senior leader Christian Fitzpatrick.
“It’s amazing, he just goes after everything,” commented Fitzpatrick on Baddo’s impressive defensive sequence during the 9-0 run. “He hustles to the ball wherever it is and that’s big for us because we need that in the way we play with our pressure. We need multiple people to sprint back and get steals and he’s the guy for it.”
“Jarius is one of the best full-court pressure defenders that I’ve coached in all 12 years that I’ve been in high school basketball,” praised Chargers Head Coach Robert Toloy before highlighting his team’s resolve. “Down by eight in the CCS playoffs at home, most high school teams would fold, we didn’t fold. That’s the way it has been our last three games when our backs were against the wall. We had to win our last two games just to qualify [for CCS].”
While not a focal part of the game-changing 9-0 run, it was Franchon Butler who was extra charged up for Wilcox. The junior exploded for 35 points, driving the lane with layups, monster dunks, knocking down free throws and nailing three huge shots from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter. Wilcox needed every bit of offense from Butler as Everett Alvarez never let up from distance. Astonishingly, over 75 percent of the Eagles points came via three pointers. Junior point guard Marc Flores shot lights out with 12 three-pointers of his own. The Eagles couldn’t score in the paint though, where Franchon and twin brother DeShawn Butler had the advantage. The former simply looked like he was in the zone all night long.
“I don’t know, I don’t usually shoot that good in games to be honest with you,” admitted Franchon on his huge fourth quarter threes. “Right there I was just feeling it. We needed those big shots, I was just trying to help my team get back in the game.”
Unfortunately for Wilcox, their season would end the very next night, losing an extremely close contest Thursday against Carlmont, 71-69.