A Look Inside: Eagles’ Basketball breaks even before break

The first league game will take place on Jan. 11 against Downey


Kevin King, General Editor

To understand the importance of this Enoch’s basketball season, we have to know the story of our last two seasons. Two years ago, first-year basketball coach Craig Bernardi came into an Enoch’s basketball program that had just experienced a first-round exit in their only playoff appearance since 2014. Excited to keep the momentum going, Bernardi led the eagle team to a 2-0 start before a team COVID exposure led to our next two games being canceled. After two weeks away from the gym, that squad never completely bounced back. This previous 2021-2022 season started out hot at 10-4 coming into the new year. That was until the class of 2022 center Keith Orona, broke his left wrist in a preseason tournament against Roseville. The following week, class of 2023 guard, Kevin King, also broke his left wrist in an exhibition game against Sonora. The Eagles finished 13-15 that season without their leading rebounder and scorer. Coming into this year with a new, young, and so far healthy squad — here’s what you have to look forward to. 

Led by seniors, Kevin King, Joshua Torres, Troy Navarro, Emilliano Arreola, Ramiz Haddad, Isaiah Garcia, and Kyle Ball are almost all returning varsity players. Junior’s control the tempo with guards Trent Acidillo, Xavier Rosas, Cylas Johal, Isaac Pena, Jayden Largo, and Francis Gates. 6 ‘6 sophomore Kila Day plays the center in company with 6’ 1 sophomore guard, Roshaun Belleza. This year’s coaching staff includes head coach Craig Bernardi in his 3rd year coaching Enoch’s basketball, and assistant coaches Kevin Finfrock, Craig Orona, and Drew Loya. Ten games into the season the Eagles have broken even with tough competition and currently sit on a 5-5 record. 

“Our defense is winning games,” Coach Bernardi praises, “ … we’ve held teams to 21 points and the most we’ve let up is 59 ”. Holding a team that averages almost 70 points a game to just under 60 is definitely a scary sight for our league opponents. With the return of senior guard Josh Torres, our offense will run a lot smoother. Paired with our defensive effort, Coach Kevin Finfrock believes, “ Nobody can outwork us when things go wrong…” he later goes on to explain “ … we have guys like Kevin and Emilliano who can score at will, alongside shooters Trent, Frankie, and Jayden. With facilitators Josh, Troy, and Ramiz we have the ability to get the ball in the hands of our scorers. And to tie it all together, Xavier, Cylas, Isaac, Isaiah, Roshaun, and Kyle go out there and dog opponents on the defensive side of the ball ”. An overall very unselfish team, with a lot of heart, is ready to put the “under-sized” and “inexperienced” criticisms to rest.

Over the break, our eagles will be taking on Laguna Creek in Elk Grove, Franklin of Stockton at home on December 22nd at 7:30, and Hayward High at a tournament in Livermore. Before kicking off the new year with our last preseason game against Oakdale at home on January 3rd at 7:00. Come out to support a couple of games and cheer on your Enoch’s Basketball team as they compete to make the playoffs in late February.