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  • Keith Hjelle

Big Night for ACGC Sports; Matmen, Cagers All Split Contests

It was a unique evening of sports events at ACGC High School last night, as there were six athletic events that took place in the school's two gymnasiums. In what was once the GC junior high gym, and is now simply known as the small gym, a triple dual wrestling event took place with the Chargers hosting teams from East Mills and Pleasantville. Meanwhile, the ACGC and Earlham basketball teams duked it out in junior varsity and varsity girls' and boys' games in the main gymnasium. The results were mixed with the Charger grapplers splitting their matches, the JV basketball teams also splitting their games--girls losing by one point and boys winning, and the varsity girls winning and boys losing. Whew! This article will deal with the varsity basketball games. The wrestling results will be reported in a separate article.

The Charger girls turned in what this observer believes was their best performance of the young season in defeating Earlham, 70-59. With both teams shooting well--Earlham shot 46% from the field and 80% from the line while ACGC made 46% of its field goals and 81% from the charity stripe--the game was not decided until the the last quarter with ACGC holding a precarious 53-48 leading into the final eight minutes. The Cardinals suddenly went cold and scored only four points in the first 6:45 of the quarter while the Chargers picked up fifteen points during the same time frame. The locals were six for ten from the floor and five for seven at the free throw line to take a commanding 68-52 lead and put the game away.

When Earlham took a 21-14 lead after one quarter, the Chargers erupted for twenty three points that included four three pointers--two by Kendra Campbell and one each by Kylie Young and Emma Kay McClain--in the second frame to take a 37-33 lead at the intermission. The Cardinals battled back in quarter number three to take the lead on two occasions before Saige O'Brien's basket with two minutes remaining gave the Chargers the lead for good at 49-48. Including a drought of 2:30 for Earlham at the end of the third quarter and the first three and a half minutes of the final stanza, the Chargers held the Cardinals scoreless for six full minutes. It clinched the win for ACGC.

Four Charger scored in double figures--a first for ACGC girls' basketball. Kylie Young had a hot hand in delivering eighteen points, with EmmaKay McClain right behind at seventeen. Kendra Campbell and Alaina Bunde both delivered ten points with Campbell hitting three treys. Bunde led the team in rebounds with nine, while McClain led in assists with five. Jorja Hoover came up with four steals and also contributed seven points. As a team the Chargers connected on five of fifteen shots from beyond the arc. A key to the victory was that the Chargers turned the ball over just seven times--a season low. The win gives the team a 3-2 record overall and a 3-1 record in conference play.

"We struggled in the first half finding their shooters right way which is part of the reason we were down after the first quarter," Charger coach Brad Baudler said. "We also gave up too many easy baskets in our press. However, we did force nineteen turnovers. We shot very well at forty six percent and had four girls in double figures. We played much better defense in the second half with our help side. The girls believed in their defense and it showed."

A rocky first half for the Charger boys pretty much spelled defeat, as the team fell behind the Cardinals 27-14 by halftime. ACGC put together a forty two point second half, but so did Earlham resulting in a 69-56 defeat for the home team.

The Chargers made just four of twenty shots in the first half and were zero for eight from three point range. ACGC went nearly eight minutes without a field goal, starting at the six minute mark in the first quarter when Quentin Younker scored and extending to early second quarter when Bryce Littler put two on the scoreboard. During the same time span Earlham scored sixteen points to take a lead it never surrendered at 17-6.

Both teams lit it up in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter when the Chargers netted twenty four points and the Cardinals scored twenty five. The teams pretty much traded basket for basket after the halftime break. The closest that ACGC got to the victors was at 33-24 when "Q" scored at the five minute mark in the third quarter.

Earlham came into the game shooting just 35% on field goals, but hit on 45% against the Chargers. The visitors had also made just 22% of their three point tries before last night and improved to 33% last night.

ACGC shot 34% from the floor, making seventeen out of forty nine shots. The percentage greatly improved in the second half, going from first half shooting of 20%, to 45% in the second half. The Chargers nailed seven of its fifteen three point tries--all makes coming in the second half. They were fifteen out of twenty two at the line for 68%

Three Chargers scored in double figures, with Younker coming up with a double double as he scored thirteen points and grabbed ten rebounds. Littler led the team in scoring with fourteen points and Lucas Marsh also hit double figures with twelve points. Miles Kading came up with four assists and Younker led in steals with three.

Veteran Charger coach Lance Kading expressed some disappointment in his team's play when he said, "We played way too casual in the first half and even at times in the second half. We have to start games with better focus and intensity and be aggressive on both ends of the floor. We have to play at maximum effort for thirty two minutes."

With the loss the team's season record fell to 0-3 with all three losses in the WCAC. The home stand continues on Thursday when the Charger team step out of the conference to host Gladden-Ralston of the Rolling Valley Conference. The girls' game is scheduled for a 6 PM start with the boys game scheduled for 7:30.

Girls' score by quarter: Boys' score by quarter:

Earlham 21 12 15 11--59 Earlham 12 15 18 24--69

ACGC 14 23 16 17-- 70 ACGC 5 9 17 25--56



Lemke 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 EKading 2-7 2-4 1-2 2-2 2 0 7

Campbell 3-10 3-6 1-2 0-1 0 0 10 BMarsh 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Dorsey 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-2 2 0 0 Crawford 0-2 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 0 0

Hoover 2-3 0-0 3-4 0-1 0 4 7 L Marsh 4-12 2-6 2-5 1-5 4 0 12

KyYoung 6-11 4-6 2-2 1-1 2 1 18 MKaking 2-5 1-2 2-2 1-4 0 0 7

McClain 6-10 0-2 5-6 0-2 5 2 17 Wardyn 1-2 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 3

Bunde 3-8 0-0 4-5 2-7 2 1 10 Broiler 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

O'Brien 1-2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 2 BryLittler 3-10 0-3 8-10 1-3 1 3 14

KeYoung 2-6 0-0 2-2 1-1 0 2 6 Dickson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0

Younker 5-11 1-5 2-3 2-8 1 0 13

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