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  • Keith Hjelle

"Never Say Die" Attitude Brings Hard Fought Overtime Win for Charger Girls

The term "Never say die" is sometimes used in a situation which appears absolutely without hope, i.e. completely hopeless. It conveys the idea that when faced with such a dire situation, one cannot give up hope; that if one can persevere there is a way out of the conundrum.

The ACGC girls' basketball team found itself in just such a spot last night, as it trailed Ogden 34-23 going into the fourth quarter before making a remarkable comeback to come away with a 46-41 overtime victory. The Bulldogs had taken control from the get go, knocking down five treys in the opening quarter to take a 19-12 lead. Although neither team could find the basket in the second quarter, each scoring only one field goal, Ogden managed to go into the intermission with a 22-14 lead.

Both teams continued to struggle from the field after halftime, with the Chargers making two baskets and Ogden three in the third quarter. It was really looking bleak for ACGC--an eleven point deficit heading into the final eight minutes, a total of only seven made baskets through three quarters, a stingy man to man defense by Ogden, and difficulty for the Chargers to get into any kind of offensive flow. It seemed pretty hopeless. If there ever was a time for "Never say die" this was it.

It is doubtful anyone actually said the words, but the fourth quarter comeback by the Chargers proclaimed those words loud and clear. It started with an unlikely individual stepping behind the arc to hit a three ball. Chloe Largent, the Chargers' 6'1" freshman post player, stepped outside the arc on the left side of the basket, received a pass and lofted what was her first attempted trey of the season---and drilled it!

The Largent make seemed to inspire the Chargers, as now the deficit was just eight points with 7:30 left on the clock. The Chargers hit four consecutive field goals to open the quarter. In addition to Largent's three pointer, two point baskets were scored by Jadeyn Carrick, "G" Hoover, and Largent to close the gap to 34-31. As the offense improved, the defensive intensity picked up, holding the Bulldogs to just four free throws in the quarter.

With two and a half minutes to go Ogden still had a five point lead at 38-33. Ten seconds later Jorja Hoover's layup cut it to 38-35. After a stop by the Charger defense, Kylie Young nailed a three pointer from the right corner to even the score at 38 apiece. Pandemonium among Charger fans! Still two minutes to go. At the 1:40 mark Ogden's post player, Allea Klauenberg, was fouled in the act of shooting and went to the line for two shots. Neither hit the mark. Both teams had one additional offensive possession, but neither could convert, sending the game into overtime.

Kylie Young's two free throws to open the overtime gave ACGC its first lead since its 2-0 lead to start the game. Ogden's leading scorer, Abby Langel, was fouled on consecutive possessions and made three of four free throws to give the Bulldogs a 41-40 lead with 1:15 to play.* It was the last points scored by the home team. A Kennedy Young basket made it 42-41at the minute mark. Carrick made it a three point game by converting on two free throws with fifteen clicks left on the clock, and a driving layup by the younger Hoover just before the buzzer clinched the win, 46-41! The Charger "Never say die" attitude had prevailed when it would have been easy to surrender.

First year Charger mentor Dan Baker was full of praise for his charges following the game. "After we fell behind by eleven points at the end of the third quarter, I thought the girls played the best man defense I've seen out of ACGC in the last three years. It put pressure on Ogden and limited them to just seven points in the fourth quarter and overtime. Jorja Hoover led the defensive effort including a late steal and basket to preserve the win. Jorja's tough mindset as an improving point guard, Jadeyn's Carrick's free throw shooting in these close games, and Kennedy Young's consistency and mental toughness have all contributed to our improvement."

Balanced scoring was a key in last night's win, with the "elder" Young leading the Chargers with 13 points, followed by the "younger" Hoover with 9, Carrick and Largent with 8, Kylie Young with 6, and "G" with 2. The Chargers shot well from two point range, despite the scoring drought in the second quarter, as they split the nets on 13 of 24 attempts for 54%. From beyond the arc the team made just 3 of 16 attempts for an overall shooting percentage of 40. Jorja Hoover dished out six assists, while Kennedy Young led in rebounds with 9. The team's free throw percentage ticked up a bit with 11 makes out of 19 tries for 58%.

The Chargers continue their road trip this coming Tuesday when they travel to Earlham to face the Cardinals. Tipoff for the girls' game is 6 PM with the boys contest to follow. Go Chargers!

* Langel's free throws and the four made charity tosses by Ogden in the fourth quarter were the only points scored by the Bulldogs in the final twelve minutes of the game.

Score by quarter:

ACGC 12 2 9 15 8--46

Ogden 19 3 12 4 3--41


Campbell 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0

Largent 3-6 1-1 1-2 1-2 2 8

JHoover 3-7 0-1 3-6 1-1 6 9

O'Brien 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0

KyYoung 1-6 1-5 3-4 3-3 2 6

Carrick 3-6 0-1 3-5 0-1 0 8

GHoover 1-5 0-2 0-0 3-1 2 2

KeYoung 5-9 1-5 2-2 1-8 0 13

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