• Keith Hjelle

Woodward Academy's Quickness Too Much for Chargers in 75-53 Knight Win

This writer recently read a quote that called quickness "the game changer" in basketball. That was certainly how things played out last night, as an exceptionally quick Woodward Academy team bested ACGC on the Charger home court by a 75-53 score.

Although the Chargers were the taller team, the quick hands and feet, as well as speed in the open court, demonstrated by the Knights were more than the Chargers could handle. The Chargers had one lead early at 5-4, but WA then ran off thirteen consecutive points to take a 17-5 lead after the first quarter. Caden Wardyn and Quynton Younker scored 12 of 13 Charger points in the second quarter, as the locals outscored the Knights 13-9 to close the margin to eight, 26-18, at halftime. It was still anybody's game at that point.

But the second half belonged to the Knights, as they lit up the scoreboard with 49 second half points, thanks to a tenacious defense and an effective fast break. The Charger were forced into 29 turnovers for the game, resulting in 22 points for WA. 22 points was the margin of victory for the Knights. Another interesting statistic is that the Knights got 30 points from their bench, an indication of the team's depth.

Three Chargers finished in double figures, led by Younker 's 18, while Wardyn and Bryce Littler each tallied 12. Wardyn led the team in rebounds with 9 and Noah Nelson dished out 6 assists and Littler 4. The team shot 42% from the field, making 19 of 45 attempts, but made only 5 field goals out of 18 attempts in the first half when the game was still on the line. Going into last night's game the team was successfully converting on 70% of its free throws, but shot a sub par 55% from the charity stripe last night on 11 makes out of 20 attempts.

"I was disappointed with our mental state," coach Jake Mohling said after the game. "We played scared and reverted back to bad habits of last year. We had very little confidence and didn't handle their pressure. I give them credit--their quickness was more than we can ever conjure up in practice even if I put ten defenders on the court. Looking back, I think we should have tried our zone defense. We'll learn a lot from this game tape."

The loss evens the Charger season record at 3-3, 2-3 in the WCAC. The team will face back to back conference foes the rest of the week. Thursday the girls' and boys' teams will travel to Earlham to face the Cardinals, with a tipoff time of 6 PM for the girls' game. Friday Des Moines Christian will come to town for a doubleheader, with the girls' game beginning at 6 PM.

Score by Quarters

WA 17 9 22 27--75

ACGC 5 13 13 22--53

Box Score: REB


Sargent 0-1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Nelson 2-5 1-3 0-0 0-0 6 1 5

Spack 0-1 0-0 0-2 1-0 0 0 0

Byars 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 0 0

Wheatley 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Littler 2-7 0-2 8-9 2-1 4 2 12

Wardyn 5-14 0-2 2-5 2-7 0 3 12

Madsen 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Younker 7-10 3-4 1-3 3-3 0 1 18

Stowe 3-5 0-0 0-1 0-2 0 1 6

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