• Keith Hjelle

In a Rut, Charger Basketball Teams Lose Big to Des Moines Christian


When a writer gets in a slump it's call writer's block. Nothing seems to work. Thoughts and words don't come easily. Looking at a blank sheet of paper makes it worse. A little panic sets in. Confidence seeps away. One gets stuck and can't seem to get out of the rut.

This writer was experiencing those symptoms as he attempted to write about last night's Charger basketball games with Des Moines Christian. Four different starts on the story, four rejections and this is number five. An hour and a half and nothing but a blank computer screen. Then the light bulb turned on--that same rut and lack of confidence that this writer is going through seems similar to what the ACGC teams may be experiencing.

Both teams suffered through their third consecutive one sided defeats last night, as highly regarded and very talented Des Moines Christian teams came to town and topped the Chargers by thirty some points: 52-21 in the girls' game and 67-37 in the boys' game.

After being competitive and yet losing their first five games by fewer than ten points each, the girls last three losses have been by 32, 34, and 31 points. The boys were riding a three game winning streak before losing by 22, 34 and 30 points. One can't help but think that the players are feeling pretty low right now. A rut will do that. Once in it, it is hard to get out.

But, let's look at this realistically. All three of the one sided losses for the girls have been against the top three teams in the conference--Panorama, Earlham, and DMC. Panorama is ranked in the top ten statewide. DMC is a perennial conference contender. The boys' losses have been to Woodward Academy--quick and athletic; Earlham--tough place to win; and DMC--well, it's DMC, ranked 11th statewide.

But you are not reading this to get an amateur writer's opinion. You want the facts about last night's games. So, let's get to it.

After leading DMC 10-7 midway through the first quarter and hitting five of their first eight shots, the Charger girls' shooting went south and they did not score again until midway through the second quarter. At halftime, the Lions led by a 34-14 score. Neither team put a lot of points on the board in the second half, as the Chargers scored only two field goals after halftime and DMC scored just 18 points after the break.

Mady Smith was the only Charger to score more than three points as she led the team with 6 points. Smith and Olivia Laabs each had eight rebounds. Jorja Hoover led in assists with 3, while Hoover and Kennedy Young each had 3 steals.

As a team, ACGC made 7 of 34 field goal attempts for 21% and 5 of 13 free throw tries for 38%. Turnovers again played a big part in the loss--33 of them resulting in 27 DMC points.

In the boys' game the hot shooting Lions hit eight of sixteen field goals in the first quarter to take a 19-7 lead and never looked back. By halftime, the score was 41-15.

Quynton Younker led the Chargers in scoring with 15 points--the only ACGC player in double figures. Collin Stowe scored 8 and led the team in rebounding with 10. Quenton Spack and Noah Nelson each had two assists. Evidence of DMC's skill is seen in the fact that the Chargers had only one steal on the night.

The Chargers had their poorest shooting night of the season, making 15 field goals out of 54 attempts for 28%. They hit 4 of 9 free throws for 44%.

Mulling over the season's statistics, one positive stands out for both teams. The girls are the top rebounding ream in the conference, in both conference games and in all games played. The boys are the second best rebounding team in all games played. Something to hang your hat on!

Now, about that rut. One game remains on the schedule before the holiday break. The Charger teams travel to Coon Rapids next Thursday to face the Crusaders. Both CRB teams were victorious last night with wins over Woodbine. It was the first win for the Crusader girls and the second for the CRB boys. Winnable games for the Chargers. Nothing like a win to get out of a rut. Go Chargers!

Girls score by quarters Boys score by quarters

DMC 18 16 9 9--52 DMC 19 11 20 6--67

ACGC 10 4 2 5--21 ACGC 7 8 11 11--37

Box Score REB Box Score

FG 3Pt FT O-D AST STL TP FG 3Pt FT O-D AST STL TP

Fuller 1-3 0-0 0-3 2-3 1 2 2 Sargent 1-1 1-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 3

Laabs 1-5 0-2 0-1 3-5 0 1 2 Nelson 0-5 0-3 0-0 0-2 2 1 0

Smith 2-8 1-1 1-2 3-5 0 1 6 Spack 1-6 0-1 1-5 2-4 2 0 2

Embleton 1-4 1-3 0-0 0-1 0 0 3 Byars 0-1 0-0 0-0 1-0 0 0 0

J. Hoover 1-5 0-1 0-0 0-0 3 3 2 Wheatley 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0

Young 0-2 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 3 0 Littler 1-5 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 0 2

Carrick 0-0 0-0 2-4 1-0 1 1 2 Wardyn 2-9 0-3 1-4 3-1 0 0 5

Sargent 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 Madsen 1-1 0-0 0-0 1-0 1 0 2

Meachem 1-6 0-0 0-0 1-4 0 0 2 Younker 6-17 2-8 1-1 2-6 0 0 15

G. Hoover 0-1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Stowe 3-8 0-1 2-4 5-5 0 0 8

Caltrider 0-0 0-0 2-2 0-0 0 0 2


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