• Keith Hjelle

Charger Girls' Rally Falls Short Versus Ex-EHK

Updated: Jan 11

A furious fourth quarter rally by the ACGC girls' basketball team fell just short in its game Saturday with an undefeated Ex-EHK team. Trailing 50-35 with four and a half minutes remaining in the game, the Chargers scored thirteen consecutive points to get within two points at 50-48 with just under a minute to go before the Spartans cashed in on four consecutive free throws in the final thirty seconds to claim the victory.

The highly regarded Spartans came into Guthrie Center with a 10-0 season record that earned them the number seven ranking among class 1A teams. The Chargers played with no fear and played evenly with the visitors through three quarter, as the quarter scores indicate. The Spartans led at each break--14-12, 26-25, and 38-35--but the Charges never backed down.

ACGC went nearly four minutes without scoring to open the game, and it appeared the Spartans were off to the races. But three point scores by Taylor Carlson and Saige O'Brien and a deuce from Alaina Bunde in the last 1:40 of the quarter closed the deficit to 14-12 and the Chargers kept it close until the fourth quarter.

Trailing 38-35 after the third frame, the Charger guns went silent for over three minutes while the Spartans reeled off twelve consecutive points to increase its lead to 50-35. Probably everyone in the gymnasium thought the game was over except the Charger players!

The story of the game is the remarkable rally by the feisty kids from ACGC who could have given up after the Spartans had apparently broken open the game and held a 50-38 lead with four and an half minutes showing on the clock.

Bunde got things started with a layup to get within ten points. When the Spartans failed to score on five consecutive possessions, the Chargers took advantage and knocked down consecutive treys by Taylor Carlson, EmmaKaye McClain, and Sophie Dorsey. Saige O'Brien added two free throws to make the score 50-48 with :58.5 showing on the clock. Desperate to get the ball, ACGC was forced to foul and Ex-EHK converted on four free throws over the last thirty three seconds to seal the win at 54-48.

Bunde paced the Charger scoring and was the only ACGC player to score in double figures. Kylie Young came up with 8 points, while Taylor Carlson contributed 6. McClain and Mercedes Richter each had 5 and O'Brien and Dorsey both had 3. The Chargers connected on 18 of 46 shots for a 39% average that included 6 three pointers. They were 5 of 7 from the charity stripe for 71%. Statistically the Spartans won the game at the free throw line where they were 15 of 18.

Some would say that there is no such thing as a moral victory, but to this observer this close loss versus a quality team is a big step for this Charger team and the girls' basketball program in general. For in this loss, the Charger girls discovered the grit that it takes to move from being a so-so team to being a very competitive team. Now that the grit has been discovered, the key is to play with it night in and night out.

Despite the tough loss, Charger coach Brad Baudler sounded very pleased with his team's performance. "We had great energy and effort all night. We found a way to come back twice and had a chance at the end. I'm seeing a lot of growth from this team in that we had very few turnovers against a good defensive team. We need to start quicker and slow down opponents' runs. I'm very happy with where we are right now."

Score by quarter:

Ex-EHK 14 12 12 16--54

ACGC 12 13 10 13--48

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