- Keith Hjelle
Charger Girls Lose Squeaker to WCV, 54-50; Boys Get First Win in a Walk, 74-42
How do you like your basketball? Are you someone who likes a thrilling nail biter that isn't decided until the final minute of play, or are you the fan who likes your team to win going away? If your were at the ACGC versus West Central Valley games last night, you got to see both types of games, as the Charger girls lost a heart breaker to the Wildcats, 54-50 and the boys won in a romp, 74-42.
The Charger girls played what was probably their best game of the young season, or at a minimum they played a very solid second half. Falling behind by one basket at 13 -11 after one quarter of play, the local cagers saw the Wildcats increase their lead to 25-18 at halftime. Although it was only a seven point deficit, it seemed larger than that, as the Chargers netted only two field goals in the second quarter and were 1 of 6 from the free throw line.
Things got interesting in the second half, as ACGC narrowed the gap to four points at 38-34 after the third stanza, thanks to 44% shooting from the filed on 7 of 16 attempts. Five Chargers scored in the quarter, with Morgan Meacham and Sierra O'Brien each hitting two field goals. The Charger defense improved as well, as ace WCV scorer Grace Dupay, who scored 16 points in the first half, was held to two free throws in the third frame.
Things continued to be nip and tuck in quarter number four, with the Chargers tying the score at 46-46 with three and a half minutes to go, and trailing by one point, 51-50, with 18 ticks left on the clock. Senior Mady Smith led the charge in the final quarter with three field goals. With little choice but to foul, the Chargers couldn't quite get over the hump, as the Wildcats made their free throws down the stretch on 10 of 13 makes in the final quarter.
ACGC had its best shooting night of the season, connecting on 22 of 72 attempts for 31%, including 15 makes of 37 attempts in the second half for 41 %. It's difficult to point to one thing that costs a victory, but one of eight free throw shooing in the second half didn't help the cause. For the game ACGC made 3 of 13 from the charity stripe. In contrast, WCV was 16-23 from the free throw line.
Three Chargers scored in double figures with O'Brien leading with 14 points, followed by Smith with 12 and Meachem with 11. Smith led the team in rebounds with nine, while Olivia Laabs had 7.
Following the game coach Dose made these observations: "I was glad to see some scoring out of our upperclassmen and it was also nice to see the bench step up after we had three players foul out. We hope to continue improving offensive efficiency. We gave ourselves a chance to win when we cut into their lead early in the fourth quarter. With experience we hope to see these games start to turn in our favor."
The second game of the evening lacked the drama of the opener, but it was an important game for the boys, as they were able to notch their first win of the season. The Chargers outscored the outmanned Wildcats, 17-5, in the first quarter and never looked back. Hitting a blistering 63% of their field goals and 77% of their free throws in the first half, the Charger scored 27 second quarter points to take a 44-18 lead into halftime. Although the shooting dropped off somewhat in the second half, ACGC still managed a season high of 55% shooting from the floor and a respectable 67% from the line.
Nine Chargers entered the scoring column, with Cady Wardyn leading the way with 20 points, all in the first half. Quynton Younker and Collin Stowe also hit double figures with 15 and 12 points respectively. Bryce Littler was close to double figures as he added 9 points.
Coach Jake Mohling was clearly pleased with the effort when he said, "I was happy with our effort and execution in the half court setting. It was good that the boys came out firing in the first half. The boys found that attacking in the paint reaps rewards. Still, there are things we need to look at and get better with. We can't have unforced turnovers. But overall it was a good game."
The win gives the boys a record of 1-2 overall and also in the WCAC. The girls are now 0-4, 0-3 in conference play. However, the margin of loss for the girls is just seven points per game. In this writer's opinion, there are wins ahead!
The Chargers will continue their home stand through the week, as they will face non-conference foe Glidden-Ralston on Thursday, with the girls game to begin at 6 PM. Saturday, conference rival Panorama will come to town for a 5 PM starting time for the girls, with the boys game to follow.
Girls' Score by Quarters Boys Score by Quarters
WCV 13 12 13 16--54 WCV 5 13 10 14--42
ACGC 11 7 16 16--50 ACGC 17 27 15 15--74
Box Score: Reb Boys statistics were incomplete at time of posting
FG 3Pt FT O-D TP
Fuller 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 0
Smith 5-7 2-3 0-0 3-6 12
Embleton 2-13 1-10 0-2 0-5 5
Laabs 0-5 0-0 0-0 1-6 0
O'Brien 6-22 0-1 2-2 0-4 14
Young 3-6 0-0 0-1 1-4 6
Carrick 0-4 0-2 0-0 0-0 0
Sargent 0-2 0-0 0-0 0-1 0
Meacham 5-10 0-0 1-8 2-4 11
Caltrider 0-2 0-0 0-0 0-1 0
J. Hoover 1-2 0-0 0-0 0-2 2
Assists and steals were unavailable at time of posting