• Keith Hjelle

Despite Tournament Loss, Girls' BB Season Ends With Energetic Effort

When this observer texted the quarter scores of last night's Charger girls' tournament game to a friend, the friend asked if the girls were playing with more energy than in recent games. The answer had to be yes! And despite the 40-38 heartbreaker loss to Southwest Valley, there was much more energy and competitiveness on the court than during recent games. And since that energy and effort was there, the season ends on a high note despite the defeat.

This was a battle between two evenly matched teams as shown by the stats. ACGC made 13 two point goals, while SWV made 12; the Chargers hit 2 three pointers, SWV 3; ACGC hit on 6 free throws, SWV made 7.

But the stats are just numbers. Its the thrill of a close contest that excites us. Its the drama that that excites us. And there was plenty of that! After the Timberwolves took an 11-4 lead after the first quarter, the Chargers closed the gap to four points at 15-11 by halftime. Neither team was shooting well. SWV was 5 of 20 at halftime, with the Chargers hitting 5 of 28 field goals before intermission. Among the twenty three ACGC misses, many were close to the basket that just wouldn't fall. Fans tried to help the shots fall by squirming in their seats and going through different gyrations, but to no avail. Still, the Chargers were down by only four points despite their shooting woes.

The scoring picked up in the second half and eventually led to a dramatic finish. Trailing 27-25 heading into the final frame, Kylie Young connected on a trey to give the Chargers their first lead since the first minute of the game. After a Timberwolves score, Jadeyn Carrick hit a deuce to make it 30-29 Chargers. But then the Chargers hit a dry spell and didn't score for three and a half minutes while SWV retook the lead and increased it to 36-30 with just over three minutes remaining.

It seemed to be slipping away for ACGC before Carrick and Jorja Hoover scored six and two points respectively over the next two plus minutes to get within two at 40-38 with :38 showing on the clock. When SWV missed a free throw with twenty one seconds remaining, the Chargers grabbed the rebound and coach Dan Baker called a timeout with fifteen ticks on the board. The Chargers got the ball into Carrick's hands, but her shot in the lane went awry and a rebound shot by Jorja was blocked. The Timberwolves secured the rebound and cleared the ball to run out the clock.

And of course there was jubilation on the Timberwolves' side and silence on the Chargers' side. Two evenly matched teams locking horns in a battle to determine who continues on the tournament trail. And its ends so suddenly, with no opportunity for a second chance. Sports drama at its finest played out by young people giving their best effort and playing with remarkable energy . It doesn't get any better than that!

Coach Baker's post game comments reflect how the game went. "I was disappointed in our initial effort in the first half when we came out with hesitancy and lack of positive emotion. We talked at halftime about playing so poorly in the first half and still being within four points.

"We were better in the second half, thanks much to aggressive play by Chloe Largent and Jadeyn Carrick. Jorja Hoover also had a good game, having just one turnover, which is an awesome stat given that she is the only one that wants the ball in her hands. I was very proud of our girls for fighting back from the early deficit and taking the lead on two occasions."

Carrick led the Charger scoring with 14 points and rebounding with 8 boards, with Chloe Largent adding 9 points. "G" Hoover dished out five assists and Kennedy Young had four steals. ACGC hit on 15 of 55 shots for 28%, including 2 of 13 three pointers. From the line the Chargers made 6 of 15 free throw attempts for 40%.

The season ends with a 9-13 record for the girls, by far the best record for the Chargers in the three year history of ACGC girls' basketball. With four starters returning and other underclassmen coming back, the future looks bright.

The final game of the season also means that six seniors have ended their playing days for the Chargers, including Jadeyn Carrick, Lauren Embleton, Savana Fuller, Genevieve Hoover, Chelsea Larsen, and Sierra O'Brien. Charger fans are grateful for their contributions to the program. Best wishes!

Score by quarter

ACGC 4 7 14 13--38

SWV 11 4 12 13--40

Box score: REB


Fuller 0-1 0-0 0-0 1-1 0 0 0

Largent 4-15 0-0 1-5 4-3 0 2 9

JHoover 1-6 0-0 2-2 3-4 3 0 4

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

KyYoung 2-7 1-3 0-0 1-4 1 0 5

Lemke 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Carrick 5-15 1-5 3-7 3-8 1 2 14

GHoover 0-4 0-4 0-0 0-4 5 2 0

KeYoung 3-6 0-1 0-1 3-3 2 4 6

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