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ACGC Boys Clinch Third Place in WCAC

It was senior night for the ACGC basketball teams on Tuesday, and they made the most of it with both the girls and boys coming up with significant wins. A 45-26 win over Madrid for the girls got them over the hump, in that they finished the regular season just over the .500 mark with an 11-10 overall record. (The girls' game will be reported in a separate story.)

The boys' 68-51 victory moves the Chargers into third place in the WCAC with a conference record of 13-3 and an overall mark of 17-4. Van Meter has clinched the title, with Des Moines Christian sitting in the second spot. DMC still has to play at Madrid in their regular season finale on Thursday. Should Madrid win over the Lions, it would mean that ACGC would finish second in the conference. That would be the highest finish for any ACGC team!

After a sluggish start in which the Chargers scored only five points in the first five minutes of the game, the team came alive to score fifteen points in the last four minutes of the quarter. A three pointer by Jedd Weinkoetz got the rally started at the three minute mark. That was followed by scores by Noah Kading, two by Miles Kading, and a three ball by Brock Littler. By quarter's end the Chargers led by a 19-14 score.

The teams played essentially even in the second stanza and ended with the Chargers holding a seven point halftime lead at 35-28. ACGC scored on four consecutive possessions midway through the quarter to lead by fifteen points at 33-18, only to see the Tigers rack up ten consecutive points to close out the first half.

The third quarter was good to the Chargers, as they outscored the Tigers by a 21-7 margin. Weinkoetz again got the ball rolling with a trey fifteen seconds into the quarter. The elder Kading scored nine points in the quarter, while Littler hit another trey. The Chargers were successful on eight of fourteen shots in the quarter, while Madrid was limited to just three baskets out of fourteen tries.

With a 51-36 lead heading into the final frame, the Chargers were not to be denied the victory in this one. Although the ACGC shooting dropped off in the quarter (three makes out of fourteen attempts), and the Tigers won the quarter by a 16-12 margin, the game was well in hand for the home team.

Miles Kading's 32 points tied the school record for most in a game set by Ben Marsh earlier in the season. Jedd Weinkoetz also reached double figures with 10 points. Kading pulled down 10 rebounds to give the Charger senior his third double double of the season. He also led in steals with 5. Brock Littler had 6 assists for the Chargers.

There are several offensive categories that played out in ACGC's favor and contributed to the win. The Chargers made 12 three pointers, while Madrid made 5--that's a twenty one point advantage. ACGC scored 16 points off of Madrid turnovers, while the Tigers scored just 4. Second chance points (a make after a miss within the same possession) were in ACGC's favor, 9-3.

Charger coach Lance Kading was clearly pleased with his team's performance when he said, "Our defensive energy and effort was outstanding. We held their two leading scorers well below their averages and we also forced seventeen turnovers."

With the conclusion of the regular season, the Chargers will now prepare for district play. ACGC will play a quarterfinal game at 6:30 on Thursday, February 17 in Van Meter against the winner of a first round game between Panorama and West Central Valley. That game is scheduled to be played in Panora on February 14.

Score by quarter:

ACGC 19 16 21 12--68

Madrid 14 14 7 16-- 51

ACGC statistics (TP-REB-ASTS-STLS) Marsh(2-2-4-2) Solorzano(3-0-1-0) Bunde(6-0-0-0) MKading(32-10-3-5) NKading(7-5-0-0) PJacobe(2-1-0-0) Littler(6-3-6-0) Chance(0-0-0-0) Kopaska(0-0-0-0) Policky(0-1-0-0) DJacobe(0-0-0-0) Weinkoetz(10-4-0-0)

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