Wes Davis finally got the answer he was waiting for.
Well, sort of.
The Foothill boys basketball coach has waited — not always patiently — for an answer of any kind on whether he would have three players cleared to play for the Trojans this season.
On Thursday afternoon, Central Section commissioner Jim Crichlow declared Warren Stingley and Elijah Seals eligible to play while the appeal for Gabriel Bossi waits in the wings until early January after Bossi was deemed ineligible by the section office. Davis requested an appeal by the CIF State appeals committee.
“It really is bittersweet,” Davis said. “I say that because you’ve really got to peel an onion back to fully understand what’s going on here. We call them student-athletes, but in some circumstances, our kids can be treated only as athletes.”
All three transferred from out of the region.
Bossi moved in with Davis from Chicago, Seals moved to Bakersfield from San Diego, and Stingley moved from Antioch where he was going to a continuation high school.
With Stingley and Seals on the court Thursday, the Trojans beat Ridgeview 57-43 on the second day of pool play at the annual Lloyd Williams/Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Shootout at North High.
Bossi’s situation is more complicated that the other two because he moved in with Davis.
Davis said Bossi’s mother, who's a family friend, asked the coach if her son could live with him because the streets on the southside of Chicago were no longer safe for him.
“It would have been very easy for this kid to run away (from Chicago) and go somewhere just to play basketball,” Davis said. “But if you ask the kid himself, he says he feels safe. We might take sitting in our front yard watering our grass for granted, but where he is from, that’s not happening.”
So while the verdict on Bossi’s future with Foothill is in limbo, adding Stingley (6-foot-5) and Seals (6-3) to the fold with senior Edward Turner (6-9) and sophomore standout Jaden Phillips (6-4) makes the Trojans much more dynamic.
Phillips scored a game-high 25 points and Turner added 14, while Stingley scored eight and Seals chipped in with five.
“It’s a lot more peaceful and a lot easier having them here,” Turner said. “It helps us out on the court today.”
For Davis, getting the players on the court is a plus as a coach, but his goal, he says, have been to help all of his players become better students and individuals.
Davis said Seals, Bossi and Stingley have all greatly improved their grades in the classroom since moving to town.
“Significantly. You can look at the transcripts and see how well they are doing,” Davis said.
Tahj Wright led Ridgeview with 15 points and Rohan Birch added 13.
Bakersfield Christian 61, Independence 49 - Seth Marantos hit a layup with 25 seconds left in the third quarter and Bakersfield Christian never looked back in a double-digit win over Independence.
Kadar Waller led BCHS with 26 points and Ben Yurosek added 15 points, as the Eagles outscored the Falcons 35-16 in the second half after Independence went into intermission with a 33-26 lead.
Elijah Carter led the Falcons with 16 points while Jerald Ervin added 12 and Josh Codamon chipped in with 11.
Lendl Henderson scored eight of his 10 points in the first quarter for BCHS.
Liberty 53, North 51 - In his first game coaching against his former team, North High first-year coach A.J. Shearon came up just short as the Patriots edged the Stars 53-51.
Tulsa-bound senior Isaiah Hill was held to just nine points for Liberty, a night after putting up 40 in a loss to Foothill. However, Hector Gonzalez and Tyler Smith both scored 10 points to lead the Patriots.
Larry Atkerson scored 14 points and A.J. Keys added 11 for the Stars in the loss.
Bakersfield High 69, Stockdale 55 - Kosta Bikakis led BHS with 15 points and David Whatley added 14, as the Drillers kept Stockdale at bay in the second half.
The Mustangs cut a 21-point, third-quarter deficit to eight before BHS pulled away in the fourth.
Logan Blanton led Stockdale with a game-high 17 points and Joephil Jandog added 14 for the Mustangs.
Garces 42, Shafter 37 - Sam Sakowski scored 12 points as Garces edged Shafter despite a 22-point performance by Noah Luna.
The senior guard hit six 3-pointers, including three in the fourth quarter, albeit in defeat.
Golden Valley 58, Tehachapi 55 - Izzac Martinez scored 28 points, including nine in the fourth quarter for the Bulldogs.