ANKENY — After beating Knoxville for the third time this season, 70-63 on Thursday, to earn the District 13 title, the Chariton boys basketball looked to extend its winning streak to 18-straight games Monday in the Substate 7 finals against Bondurant-Farrar. The 18th-straight win would send the Chargers to the Class 3A Boys State Basketball Tournament.
After stunning second-ranked Dallas Center-Grimes 63-59 in the District 14 championship game, Bondurant-Farrar could not find enough magic to stop the red-hot Chargers. Chariton edged the 18-6 Bluejays, winning a 63-61 classic battle to claim the 3A, Substate 7 title.
The win sends 21-3 Chariton to the Class 3A Boys State Basketball Tournament. The Chargers will play next Tuesday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
The District 13 championship was a well-played game by both Chariton and Knoxville Thursday night in Albia. The contest featured good free throw shooting, very few turnovers and a fourth-quarter comeback.
Chariton placed four players in double figures, led by T.J. Hockenson’s 21 points, and used crucial late game free throw shooting to hold off Knoxville.
The teams traded leads in the first eight minutes of play.
Knoxville’s biggest lead was 7-4, but after Willie Felderman scored his third basket of the opening quarter, Chariton grabbed an 8-7 lead.
The lead changed hands twice more before Trent Davis hit a 3-pointer to give the Panthers a 14-12 lead after one. Davis would hit five 3’s in the game and would lead all scorers with 23 points.
Knoxville used two free throws by Nathan Winters to open a 16-12 lead. The Chargers answered with a 9-0 run to go up 21-16.
To finish off the run, Chariton’s big man Hockenson had three consecutive scores. Two of those were finishes off the break.
“Coach always says to run the floor,” said Hockenson. “I think my speed is really an advantage for me.”