What is it that distinguishes a good (or better) from an average sports team--any sports team--but in this case basketball? In other words what is the difference between a team that wins two thirds to three fourths (or more) of its games and a team than wins about half of its games? If we were to examine the statistics for good vs. average teams we would likely find that the good teams are more consistent from game to game.
So it is with the 2018-19 version of the ACGC Charger girls' basketball team. In a span of the last seven days the Charges played three good teams with solid records--Southwest Valley (10-4), CAM (13-1), and Van Meter (11-3). ACGC went into those games with an 8-8 record--a winning percentage of 50%. On the basis of this it appears that the Chargers are an average team.
The theory of inconsistent play being a mark of an average team bears out in the three Charger games played within the last week. The girls played one of its best games in defeating Southwest Valley last Monday, 71-64; played perhaps its worst game of the season in the 80-26 loss to CAM on Friday; and then bounced back last night to give Van Meter a run for its money before losing to the Bulldogs, 59-49.
This is by no means a criticism of the Chargers. We all know this is a process. To be 9-10 with a good chance of finishing the regular season at 11-10 shows considerable growth from last year's 2-20 campaign. The program is headed in the right direction. This team is far more consistent than last year's, but not yet at the level of teams that are 15-4 or 17-2.
The opening quarter last night isn't what Charger fans were hoping for, as Van Meter raced to a 15-4 advantage while ACGC connected on only one of nine field goal attempts. But the Chargers won the last three quarters by a single point, 45-44. The problem, of course, is that all four quarters are included in determining a winner.
The fourth quarter is where the Chargers really shone. After the cold shooting first quarter, ACGC played close to even with Van Meter and trailed by a 46-30 margin heading into the final frame. Down by a score of 46-32 with about six minutes remaining, Genevieve Hoover connected on consecutive treys and all of a sudden the Chargers were in the game, 46-38. Kylie Young added a two pointer to make it 46-40 about halfway through the quarter.
But that six point margin is as close as the home team could get. Van Meter went into a stall with about 3:30 to go, giving the Chargers little choice but to foul as time slipped away. The Bulldogs did not make a field goal in the last eight minutes, and only attempted two! But they were near perfect from the charity stripe, connecting on twelve of thirteen free throws. The game ended with the visitors winning 59-49. To win that game ACGC needed four quarters of consistent play--three quarters weren't enough.
After going 1 for 9 from the field in the first quarter, the Chargers went 15 for 33 the remainder of the game for 45%. But that 1 for 9 dropped the game percentage to 38%. ACGC connected on 6 of 20 three pointers for 30% and 11 of 17 free throws for 65%
The Young sisters--Kennedy and Kylie--paced the Charger scoring with 14 and 13 points respectively, while Kennedy also led in rebounding with 8. Kylie led the team in assists with four, while Jadeyn Carrick, Jorga Hoover and Kennedy each had 3. Three players each had three steals, including "G" Hoover, and the Young sisters. ACGC had no answer for the shooting of Van Meter's Clair Lauterbach who netted 32 points including seven three pointers.
The girls' and boys' games versus West Central Valley scheduled for tonight has been rescheduled for Thursday, February 7 due to the frigid weather we are experiencing. Game time for the girls is 6 PM, with the boys' to follow. Go Chargers!
Score by quarter
Van Meter 15 17 14 13--59
ACGC 4 14 12 19--49
Box score: REB
FG 3PT FT O-D AST STL TP
Fuller 0-0 0-0 1-2 0-0 0 0 1
Largent 1-2 0-0 3-4 1-1 1 0 5
JHoover 1-6 1-4 2-2 1-1 3 2 5
O'Brien 1-2 1-2 0-0 1-0 0 0 3
KyYoung 4-9 2-5 3-4 2-1 4 3 13
Lemke 0-3 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Carrick 0-3 0-2 2-2 0-3 3 0 2
GHoover 2-6 2-5 0-1 2-2 1 3 6
KeYoung 7-11 0-0 0-2 5-3 3 3 14