• Keith Hjelle

CRB Grinches Steal Two BB Games From Chargers


The Grinch came a few days early and stole a couple of winnable games from the ACGC girls' and boys' basketball teams last night in non-conference battles at Coon Rapids. The main character in Dr. Suess' classic children's story steals all the presents, ornamental trees, and fireplace logs from all the residents of Whoville. In the end, the Grinch has a change of heart and returns all of what he had stolen and is welcomed by the people of Whoville. I doubt that the Crusaders will return their victories, so the comparison of the "Grinch Who Stole Christmas" with the CRB wins ends there.

After the ACGC girls jumped off to a first quarter lead of 13-4, CRB closed the gap to 17-14 by halftime, took the lead during third frame and led going into the final quarter, 30-26. The Chargers battled back to take the lead at 35-33 with 3:30 showing on the clock. The teams traded baskets going down the stretch, setting the stage for a dramatic finish to regulation play.

With the Chargers girls leading 41-38 as the clock wound down, Crusader Jade Hays played the role of the Grinch as she hit a three pointer from the top of the key with 2.5 seconds on the clock to knot the score at 41-41 and send the game into overtime. The Chargers took a 43-41 lead on Mady Smith's field goal with 3:07 remaining in the extra period, but ACGC didn't score again, and the Crusaders came away with a 45-43 win. While the Chargers made a respectable 6 of 9 free throws in the fourth quarter, they failed to convert on any of their six charity shots in the overtime period, all of which occurred in the last 28 seconds of play. Probably sealed the deal for CR-B.

Mady Smith and Savana Fuller turned in good individual performances for the Chargers, with Smith converting on 5 of 12 field goals and leading the team in scoring with 14 points. She also recorded 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks, and 4 steals. Fuller turned in a double double, as she scored a career high 12 points and pulled down a team high 13 rebounds. As a team, ACGC shot 30% from the floor on 16 makes out of 54 attempts, and 8 of 16 from the free throw line. The Chargers connected on only 3 or 23 three point attempts. Kayla Lenz led CRB with 13 points.

While there was no single CRB player who could be labeled as the Grinch in the boys' game, the hot shooting Crusaders all stepped in to play the role, as they shot 59% on 24 of 41 from the floor. After CRB opened with a 12-9 lead after the first stanza, the Chargers managed to tie the score at halftime, 26-26. A twenty-three point third quarter gave the Crusaders a 49-42 lead after three periods, after which the Chargers closed the gap to 49-46 with 6:36 to go, but could get no closer. ACGC made only two additional field goals the rest of the game, and the Crusaders made enough free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

Three Chargers scored in double figures, with Caden Wardyn and Quynton Younker each netting 14 points, while Bryce Littler had 11. Noah Nelson added 9 and Collin Stowe had 6. The Chargers only managed 23 rebounds for the game, led by Younker with 6. Although ACGC committed only 12 turnovers for the game, those 12 miscues led to 12 Crusader points. The Chargers connected on just 19 of their 50 shots for 38%.

"It came down to the fact the they made their shots and we didn't," coach Jake Mohling said after the loss. "Ben Obert scored 23 points for them, but the real story was that their numbers two, three and four scorers scored fourteen points above their respective averages. We also committed some untimely turnovers, especially just before halftime that enabled CRB to tie the score at the break."

The girls' loss means they remain winless at 0-9 on the season, with an 0-6 mark in WCAC play.

The boys' record falls to 3-6, 2-5 in the WCAC. A holiday break is welcomed, with the teams returning to play on Tuesday, Jan. 2 when the Chargers will entertain Van Meter.

Girls' Score by Quarters Boys' Score y Quarters

ACGC 13 4 9 15 2--43 ACGC 9 17 16 12--54

CRB 4 10 16 11 4--45 CRB 12 14 23 16--65

REB REB

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

Fuller 4-7 0-0 4-6 5-8 0 2 12 Nelson 4-8 1-3 0-0 1-2 2 2 9

Laabs 1-6 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 1 2 Spack 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 1 0

Smith 5-11 1-5 3-7 3-3 4 4 14 Byars 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Embleton 3-12 2-9 0-0 2-2 0 1 8 Wheatley 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

J. Hoover 0-4 0-2 0-0 0-2 0 1 0 Littler 4-7 3-4 0-0 0-2 3 0 11

Ke. Young 0-4 0-2 1-2 1-4 1 4 1 Wardyn 4-10 2-5 4-6 0-3 3 1 14

Carrick 2-5 0-2 0-0 1-1 1 3 4 Younker 4-16 1-5 5-9 3-3 0 0 14

Ky. Young 1-3 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 1 2 Stowe 3-8 0-1 0-0 2-0 0 0 6

G. Hoover 0-2 0-1 0-0 1-0 0 0 0


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