Vikings shut down by Chargers at home

In the first quarter of Monday’s game, the ACGC Chargers boys basketball team set the tone right away over the AHSTW Vikings opening the game with runs of 10-2 and 18-4 en route to a 65-46 victory, handing the Vikings its third loss of the season.

“That’s a seasoned, veteran, mature team that can shoot the ball really well,” said Viking Head Coach G.G. Harris of the Chargers. “They know how they want to play, they’re well coached, and they came out instantly the way they wanted to play right away.”

The first points of the game came when Junior Charger Noah Kading made two free throws, followed by Junior Payton Policky with two more. Junior Viking Luke Sternberg got his team on the board with a floater, but the Chargers then took command forcing two timeouts from Harris, and closing out the quarter leading 27-9.

The second quarter opened with both teams exchanging buckets, but the Chargers still had a commanding lead, up by 20 points approaching halftime. Senior Charger Lance Bunde gave his team a boost hitting a buzzer beater, giving the Chargers a 42-20 lead going into the locker room.

“You can’t come out and knock them out right away,” Harris said. “You’ve got to chip away. They’re a team, I think, that prides themselves on big runs. We’ve got to come out and say, ‘hey, maybe it’s a 5-2 or a 7-3 run.’ We’ve got to take those as wins, and it needs to get done on the defensive end of the floor, and that definitely happened. It didn’t seem like it happened right away, but in the middle of the third [quarter] and into the fourth quarter, we cut it to 14, and guys started believing a little bit.”

Sternberg took matters into his own hands entering the third quarter. He went on his own 10-2 run, cutting the Chargers lead to 14 points, followed by a couple more baskets, bringing his team to within 45-34. Buckets were exchanged by both teams following Sternberg’s run, with the Chargers taking a 55-38 lead into the final quarter.

“First off, commitment to be decisive, trusting himself to make a read and a decision as he’s getting the ball,” Harris added. “He’s a competitor, and I think other guys fed off of him. That’s a huge leadership decision that he was in, and it’s good to see him execute.”

The Chargers and Vikings exchanged buckets in the final quarter, with the Chargers outscoring them 10-8, getting it’s fourth victory of the season, and moving the Vikings record to 2-3.

The Vikings have a quick turnaround back at home Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. against the 2-3 Missouri Valley Big Reds. The Big Reds are led by Brody Lager with 94 points, averaging 18.8 per game, Dane Janssen with 36 rebounds, and 27 assists.

“Sometimes it’s nice to think on it, and reflect,” Harris said. “Other times it’s nice to lace it up right away. We just need to play better, and for us, we know what that looks like. The key will be trust your bodies, you’re resilient, you’re young, be ready to lace it up, and go ahead and throw some blows right away.”



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