• Keith Hjelle

Charger Boys Win Squeaker at Ex-EHK; Girls Fall to Fifteenth Ranked Spartans


After Friday's games with Woodward-Granger were postponed due to impending inclement weather (which never arrived), the Charger basketball teams traveled to ElkHorn yesterday afternoon to face the respectable Ex-EHK Spartan teams. The Spartan girls are ranked twelfth in class 1A, while sporting a 9-1 record according to the IGHSAU website. The Ex-EHK boys were 5-3 headed into last night's game with the Chargers.

Despite the 66-57 loss for the ACGC girls, the Chagers stayed with the hosts in a game that was not decided until the final three minutes of the game. The Charger boys, on the other hand, pulled off a 52-50 win in the last four minutes of the game. .

The boys' game was close throughout, as the two teams stayed within striking distance of one another. ACGC opened a nine point lead midway through the second quarter--the largest lead either team would enjoy--at 24 to 15 and maintained it until forty one seconds remained in the half when Spartan Creighton Nelson hit a three pointer to pull within six of the Chargers at 25-19. While ACGC shot well from inside the arc, making nine of thirteen two point attempts, Bryce Littler's trey late in the first quarter was the only successful three pointer in the first half.

Ex-EHK came out firing in the third quarter, connecting on seven of thirteen shots that included two treys resulting in twenty one points. It gave the Spartans a 40-37 lead by quarter's end. The Spartan defense limited the Chargers to twelve third quarter points.

The drama increased in the final frame, as Miles Kading and Littler hit consecutive long balls to give the Chargers a 43-40 lead one minute into the quarter. With the score knotted at forty five apiece Eli Kading's basket with 3:25 remaining in the game gave the visitors a 47-45 lead they would not surrender. Ex-EHK got within two points at 52-50 after Nelson's basket with eight seconds remaining, but that was the last the scoring for either team. After losing one point decisions to Ogden and CRB earlier in the season, the third time was indeed the charm for the Chargers!

Littler led the Charger scoring with fifteen points, while Quynton Younker come up with his fifth double double of the season, netting eleven points and snaring ten rebounds. Balance played a part in the win as the Kading bothers, Eli and Miles, scored nine and seven points respectively. Charlie Crawford come of the bench to add six points and Lucas Marsh rounded out the scoring with four. Littler and Miles Kading each had two assists and the Younger Kading also led in steals with five.

The Chargers converted on twenty of forty six field goal attempts for 43% that included a sparkling fourteen successes out of twenty three two point attempts. They were six of eleven from the charity stripe for 55%.

A thirty eight point second half by the Ex-EHK girls was enough to overcome the Charger 29-28 halftime lead and secure the win for the highly regarded Spartans. Balanced scoring helped the Chargers to the slim halftime lead, as eight Chargers scored in the first two stanzas. ACGC shot fifty percent from the floor including three successful treys--two by Kendra Campbell--to hold the one point halftime lead.

Charger shooting cooled in the third quarter, as the team connected on just five of sixteen shot attempts and did not attempt a free throw in the quarter. Heading into the final eight minutes the Chargers found themselves down by a 47-39 margin.

A free throw by Kennedy Young and a two pointer by Alaina Bunde in the opening thirty seconds of the fourth quarter closed the deficit to 47-42. Consecutive aggressive offensive attacks put EmmaKay MClain at the line where she converted on four successful free throws to put the Chargers within three points at 51-48. The Spartans obliged by missing six consecutive free throws of their own to help ACGC stay close. McClain again narrowed the deficit to three at 55-52 with two free throws and a minute and a half showing the clock, but that is as close as the Chargers could get. In the meantime the Spartans regained their touch at the free throw line and made nine of ten free tosses in the last minute and a half to clinch the win.

Despite the loss, Charger coaches, players and fans have reason to be optimistic about the remainder of the season, as Ex-EHK is a quality 1-A team. A balanced scoring attack is another reason for optimism as five Chargers scored eight or more points. McClain and Bunde each scored ten points, with the trio of Kylie and Kennedy Young and Kendra Campbell all scoring eight and Jorja Hoover coming up with seven points. The elder Young led the team in rebounds with eight, while McClain had four assists and an equal number of steals. Bunde also came up with four thefts.

ACGC shot 35% from the floor, connecting on nineteen of fifty four attempts, including three of sixteen from beyond the arc. The team connected on sixteen of twenty five charity tosses for 64%.

The loss for the girls drops their overall record to 6-4 on the season, while the boys' win improves their record to 4-6. The teams will return to WCAC action on Tuesday when they will entertain Madrid in a girls'/boys' doubleheader on the Charger hardwood. Go Chargers!

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

ACGC 14 15 10 18--57 ACGC 15 10 12 15--52

Ex-EHK 15 13 19 19--66 Ex-EHK 11 8 21 10--50

Box score: Box score:

REB REB

FG 3Pt FT O-D A S TP FG 3pt FT O-D A S TP

Campbell 3-8 2-6 0-0 1-1 0 0 8 EKading 4-7 1-4 0-0 0-4 1 1 9

Dorsey 1-1 0-0 1-2 1-2 0 0 3 BMarsh 0-1 0-0 0-0 1-0 1 1 0

Hoover 1-3 0-0 5-7 3-1 0 1 7 Crawford 2-5 0-2 2-2 2-3 1 1 6

KyYoung 4-12 0-3 0-1 2-2 2 1 8 LMarsh 2-2 0-0 0-0 1-1 1 2 4

McClain 1-8 0-3 8-12 2-5 4 4 10 MKading 2-8 2-6 1-3 1-0 2 5 7

Bunde 5-9 0-0 0-0 1-5 0 4 10 Wardyn 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

O'Brien 1-2 1-2 0-0 0-1 1 1 3 Littler 6-13 3-6 0-2 1-1 2 2 15

KeYoung 3-11 0-1 2-3 4-4 2 3 8 Younker 4-10 0-5 3-4 2-8 1 2 11


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