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ACGC Boys Win Thriller in OT at Madrid, 73-69

Lady Luck has made her presence known on behalf of the ACGC boys' basketball team on at least three occasions this winter. In the three nail biters the Chargers have played, she has aided the team in winning all three!

Last night was the third time she worked her charm in favor of the "cardiac kids" when they pulled out a 73-69 overtime win over the Madrid Tigers. And for good measure, all three wins have been on the road. In addition to the most recent win, the other victories include an overtime win at Panorama and a buzzer beater win at CR-B.

"This was a great team effort," ACGC coach Lance Kading said following the game. "We got key contributions from all five starters and multiple bench guys. We hit some big shots down the stretch and I felt like we took our defense and rebounding up a notch toward the end of regulation and in overtime.

"And then we were able to seal the victory by making our free throws late. I'm very proud of this team's competitiveness and will to win."

Madrid had the upper hand through three quarters of play, as the Tigers built a nine point lead at 25-16 in the opening quarter. Three point attempts were common throughout the game, including in the early going. The hosts nailed five three pointers in the quarter, while ACGC connected on four. Ben Marsh tallied 11 first quarter points that included two treys. A scoring drought for ACGC that lasted for over four minutes, didn't help the Charger cause in the early going.

Madrid experienced its own shooting slump in quarter number two when it went nearly four minutes without a score. At the same time, ACGC continued to struggle, hitting just two shots from the floor. Madrid held a 35-28 halftime lead.

The Tigers kept the Chargers at bay throughout the third quarter as it maintained its seven point lead at quarter's conclusion, 51-44. ACGC got within one point at 45-44 on Marsh's basket, but Madrid responded with six consecutive points.

The hosts increased their lead to double digits at 55-44 early in the fourth frame. It looked as if ACGC was on the verge of defeat, but it seems that Lady Luck made an appearance, as the Chargers scored on five of their next six possessions, with Kading scoring three times and Brock Littler and Jedd Weinkoetz each scoring once. After that flurry, the Tigers were still up by one point at 57-56. They added a three point play to their total to lead by 60-56 with three minutes remaining in regulation.

ACGC took the lead at 62-60 thanks to six consecutive points by Kading, but Madrid managed to tie it at 62 each. The final minute of play found Lance Bunde scoring to put his team back in the lead, but Tiger Brady Leonard countered to tie it up at again at 64 with :38 to go. And that is how it ended in regulation. Whew! Overtime!

Neither team scored early in the overtime period until Bunde hit a deuce to give his team a two point advantage at 66-64. The Chargers did not score another basket in the OT, but were successful on seven of eight free throws, with Kading hitting four and Littler making three. That good shooting at the line preserved the 73-69 win for ACGC.

In fact it was solid free throw shooting that won the game for the Chargers, as it outscored Madrid 21 to 8 from the line.

Miles Kading and Marsh had big nights offensively for ACGC, scoring 23 and 21 points respectively. Jedd Weinkoetz scored a season high 8 points, while Litter tallied 7, Bunde 5, Anthonly Solorzano 4, Payton Policky 3 and Noah Kading 2. Every point mattered in this one!

The Chargers shot 33.8% on field goal attempts which included 8 of 33 from beyond the arc. They made 21 of of 29 free throws for 72.4%. Madrid won every shooting category, save one--made free throws!

The win was significant in that it confirms that this Charger team can win the close ones on the road, thanks in part to Lady Luck who waived at the Charger fans as she left the gym.

Score by quarter:

ACGC 16 12 16 20 9--73

Madrid 25 10 16 13 5--69

ACGC statistics: (TP-REB-ASTS-STLS): Marsh(21-5-3-1) Solorzano(4-1-0-0) Bunde(5-5-0-2) MKading(23-8-6-3) NKading(2-0-0-0) Jacobe(0-1-0-0) Littler(7-5-2-3) Policky(3-0-0-0) Weinkoetz(8-4-2-1)

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