It started out like it was going to be a repeat of Friday's less than stellar performance versus Woodward-Granger when the Charger girls fell behind 12-2 in yesterday afternoon's game with Exira-Elkhorn-Kimballton. But after a timeout in which coach Dan Baker sternly encouraged better play, the Chargers came to life and made a game of it versus the highly regarded Spartan team before losing by a 63-52 score.
Scoring only one field goal in the first six plus minutes of the game put the Chargers in a whole that they were never quite able to get out of. They did manage to outscore Ex-EHK 7-2 in the final two minutes of the quarter to trail by 15-9.
With a good start in the second frame, ACGC tied the game at 17-17 on Kylie Young's basket with 4:50 remaining before halftime. It was the last time the game was tied. The Spartans then outscored the home team 12-5 to take a 29-22 lead into the intermission.
The Chargers continued to be competitive as the game progressed, trailing by just 36-32 at the halfway point of the third quarter thanks to two treys by Genevieve Hoover. But the visitors relied on good free throw shooting to increase the lead to nine at 50-41 by quarter's end.
The good free throw shooting by the Spartans continued in the final frame when they scored all but two points from the charity stripe. The Chargers got within seven at 54-47 but then had a scoring drought of nearly three minutes while Ex-EHK continued to make free throws. The Spartans connected on 11 of 17 free throws in the final quarter. They attempted 37 (!) free throws for the night while ACGC shot a dozen.
Chloe Largent had a breakout night for ACGC, playing more aggressively than in previous games. The 6'1" freshman recorded her first double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds while blocking three Spartan shots. Jadeyn Carrick had a good rebounding night as well as she grabbed 8 boards. Kylie Young came out of her slump, also scoring in double figures with 11 points. "G" Hoover was close behind with 9 points on three long balls. Hoover also led the team in assists with 4. The Chargers made 20 of 56 shot attempts for 36% including 4 of 15 three point tries. Of the dozen free throws attempted, the team made 8. By contrast Ex-EHK attempted only 36 field goals but connected on 26 of its 37 free throws.
Baker was obviously pleased with his squad's performance when he said, "I was very happy with our overall effort today after Friday's debacle. Chloe Largent bounced back to her old self with thirteen points to lead us and over ten rebounds for her first career double-double. She was aided in the scoring column by Kylie Young with eleven points. I think Kylie played her most inspired game of the year. Overall we had some of our best minutes of the year. We just need to be more consistent to stay out of the two to three minute slumps. The next two weeks are big as we fight to secure a good seed for the tournament."
The Chargers hit the road this week with games at Madrid on Tuesday and at Pleasantville on Friday. These are both winnable games for the 6-6 Chargers if yesterday's game is any indication of future performances. Let's hope so. Go Chargers!
Score by quarter:
Ex-EHK 15 14 21 13--63
ACGC 9 13 19 11--52
Box score: REB
FG 3PT FT O-D AST STL TP
Fuller 1-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 2
Campbell 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Largent 5-13 0-0 3-4 3-8 0 1 13
Embleton 0-5 0-4 2-2 2-0 0 0 2
JHoover 2-5 0-1 1-1 1-2 2 1 5
O'Brien 1-4 1-2 0-0 0-0 3 1 3
KyYoung 5-10 0-2 1-1 2-1 2 2 11
Carrick 2-9 0-1 0-2 5-3 1 0 4
GHoover 3-6 3-5 0-0 1-1 4 2 9
KeYoung 1-3 0-0 1-2 2-4 0 0 3