• Keith Hjelle

Charger Boys Lose in OT at Pleasantville, 59-57


What a heartbreaker! The ACGC Charger boys lost a 59-57 overtime squeaker to host Pleasantville last night. In a game like this there are so many "ifs and buts" that one can drive oneself crazy gong through all of the different scenarios that present themselves. What if a fifth foul on a Charger player just fifteen seconds into the overtime would not have been called (as Charger fans thought should have been the case)? With him on the floor, would the outcome have been different? What if two Charger free throws had been made with twenty seconds left in overtime? Would those points have been the game winner? What if the Chargers' last shot had been taken with five seconds left instead of nine seconds? Would that have prevented a Pleasantville player from scoring the winning basket with 1.8 seconds remaining? What if the Chargers had made all of their free throws in the first half instead of making a more than respectable 75%? Would that have been the difference between victory and defeat?

We could go on forever. But the outcome remains the same. A heartbreaking loss in a game that could have been won. The ifs and buts will never be answered. No one is to blame. A turnover in the first half affected the outcome just as much as any of the scenarios presented above. Coach Lance Kading was somewhat philosophical about the outcome when this observer consoled him about the tough loss. His replay was, "But it was a good game." He is exactly right: it was a good game. The victory was elusive for the Chargers, but it was a good game. ACGC was competitive and played well enough to win. Progress made. Lessons learned.

As is the case with many of the Charger games, this one started out with a close first quarter. Knotted at 13 apiece after one quarter and still tied at 20-20 three minutes into the second quarter, the Trojans made a barrage of three pointers midway through the quarter, hitting three from long range. That gave Pleasantville a 33-26 halftime advantage.

Three minutes into the second half the Trojans expanded their lead to ten points at 40-30. It looked bad for the Chargers at that point, as the momentum was on the side of Pleasantville.

But then the Chargers went on a terror, as they ripped off twelve consecutive points to take a 42-40 lead after three quarters. Four different ACGC player scored during the run, with Bryce Littler and Noah Nelson each hitting treys, "Q" Younker scoring two baskets, and Lucas Marsh making one. It was anybody's game!

The Chargers expanded their lead to 46-40 to open the final quarter and it looked like they were on their way to a win. But momentum swung the other way once again, as Tagen Douma's three ball tied it at 52 with three minutes to go. Pleasantville took the lead at 55-52 with two minutes remaining. Neither team scored over the next 1:53, with the Chargers missing two field goals and the Trojans failing to connect on the front end of three free throw attempts. With seven ticks left on the clock, Noah Nelson buried a three ball to tie the game at 55! Pandemonim among Charger fans! A last second shot by Pleasntville went astray and the game headed into overtime.

The Chargers took a 57-55 lead less than a minute into overtime when Nelson scored. A minute later Pleasntville tied it at 57 apiece. With 1:07 left ACGC rebounded an errant Pleasantville shot and held the ball for nearly a minute. When Noah Nelson lofted a shot with nine seconds remaining it was partially blocked and Douma recovered the ball and drove all the way to score for the Trojans with just over two seconds remaining. ACGC had just 1.8 seconds to do something, but it was not enough time. A last second shot by the Chargers did not get off in time and the game ended with a Pleasntville win, 59-57.

Three Chargers scored in double figures, led by "Q" Younker's 17. Littler came up with 15 and Nelson scored 14. Top rebounder was Younker with 9, while both Littler and Nelson grabbed 8. Noah Sargent led in assists with 3. No one had more than two steals. As a team the Chargers shot a respectable 47% from the floor, converting on 22 of 47 tries. They made 3 of 9 from beyond the arc. Free throw shooting was a solid 71%, as the team converted on 10 of 14 from the charity stripe. The Chargers turned the ball over just 12 times.

The loss dropped the team's overall record to 4-9 and 2-8 in the WCAC. But there is improvement. Still winnable games ahead. The Chargers will entertain Ogden next Tuesday, January 15. Boys' tipoff is at approximately 7:30. Go Chargers!

Score by quarter:

ACGC 13 13 16 13 2--57

P'ville 13 20 7 15 4--59

Box Score: REB

FG 3PT FT O-D AST STL TP

EKading 1-4 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 1 2

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

Nelson 6-13 2-4 0-1 2-6 0 2 14

Marsh 1-6 0-1 2-3 1-1 2 0 4

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

Littler 5-11 1-2 4-5 2-6 1 2 15

Younker 8-11 0-0 1-1 3-6 2 0 17


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