Charger Boys Win on Buzzer Beater Over CRB, 47-46
It doesn't get any better than this: two wins, on the road, with a buzzer beater thrown in for good measure! The ACGC basketball teams traveled to Coon Rapids Monday night to take on the Crusaders and started the new year on the right foot with the double win and a magnificent finish to the boys' game.
So, let's take a look at the boys' game in this piece. (The girls' game will be discussed in a separate article.) The Chargers opened the scoring a minute and a half into the game when Miles Kading scored. But the rest of the quarter pretty much belonged to the hosts as they took a 14-6 lead by quarter's end. All six of ACGC's points came from Kading, as the rest of the team was zero for ten from the field.
The Chargers' shooting woes continued into the second stanza, as the team connected on three of ten shots and finished the half with a 26% shooting accuracy from the floor. On the other hand, the Crusaders connected on ten of twenty two attempts. Still, ACGC was very much in the game, trailing by just four points at 24-20 at the break. Kading scored the first seven Charger points in the second quarter before his teammates added the final seven.
Following the halftime interlude the Chargers took their first lead since the first quarter when Brock Litter scored to give the visitors a 26-24 lead. CR-B regained the lead at 28-26 and retained it until Littler scored late in the quarter to give ACGC a single point lead at 34-33.
With 6:09 left in the game, Littler's three ball gave the Chargers a 39-35 lead. ACGC scored just two points over the next five plus minutes, and the Crusaders took advantage and built a 45-41 lead with a minute remaining in the game. Littler's three pointer closed the deficit to a single point with fifty seconds to go.
When the clock went under thirty seconds, the Chargers were forced to foul to stop the clock. It was risky to do so, as it gave the Crusaders an opportunity to build on their lead. But they were successful on just one of their final four free throw attempts, giving ACGC one final opportunity to score. With 3.7 seconds showing on the clock, ACGC had to go the full length of the court to score to erase the 46-44 CR-B lead. The odds were against the Chargers.
Following a time out, ACGC inbounded the ball to Kading who quickly dribbled to just beyond mid court and let a thirty five foot shot fly. Time seemed to be suspended and it took forever for the ball to reach its destination as the final buzzer sounded. But when it did reach that destination the ball tickled the twines and there was pandemonium on the ACGC side of the gym and silence on the CR-B side. The impossible had happened! But apparently it was not impossible. Final score: ACGC 47, CR-B 46.
When this observer asked Kading if he knew the shot would fall, he said, "It felt good." His father--Charger mentor Lance Kading-- had a bit more to say.
"Coon Rapids is one of the toughest places to play," the elder Kading said. "It's very difficult to shoot well in that gym and CR-B always puts a scrappy, physical team on the floor. It takes a lot of mental toughness to come our of there with a win." The win is the sixth of the season for ACGC against just one loss.
Kading led the Chargers with 24 points, while Littler also scored in double figures with 15 points. Kading achieved a double double as he grabbed 10 rebounds. ACGC shot 35.6% from the field, connecting on 16 of 45 attempts and 81.8% from the free throw line on 9 makes out of 11 tries. The team made 6 of 23 three point attempts.
Score by Quarter:
ACGC 6 14 14 13--47
CR-B 14 10 9 13--46
ACGC statistics: (TP-REB-ASTS-STLS) Marsh(6-4-1-10) Solorzano(0-0-0-0) Bunde(2-3-3-1) MKading(24-10-2-3) NKading(0-0-0-0) PJacobe(0-2-0-0) Littler(15-1-3-1) Weinkoetz(0-2-0-1)