The Chariton Chargers used disciplined play at both ends of the floor to pick up their 10th win early in the new year, downing Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 57-48 in South Central Conference boys basketball action Monday night in Eddyville.
The Chariton offense usually features a more up-and-down transition game.
“I feel like E-B-F won the tempo battle tonight,” said Chariton coach Ben Schooley. “Our guys did a good job of being patient and sharing the ball against their zone.”
The Rockets held the early lead behind the quick start of Trevor Leffler. His early five points gave the home team a 7-3 lead halfway through the opening quarter. The visitors then went on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes to lead 13-7. Chariton freshman Darick Laing had five points in the run. Leffler stopped the run with a basket with just over a minute to play in the period.
Rocket leading scorer Christian Bambrook scored his only basket in the opening eight minutes to cut the Charger lead to 13-11 after one. Bambrook would go on to a game-high 27.
Chariton pushed the lead to four at 15-11 to start the second. Two free throws and a bucket by Bambrook tied it at 15. The Chargers answered with consecutive baskets by T.J. Hockenson. Bambrook’s three-point play cut the lead to 19-18, but Hockenson answered with his third straight score inside the paint.
As the quarter wound down, Laing for the Chargers and Bambrook for the Rockets each had five points and the visitors led 28-23 with just 18 seconds left in the half. Bryce Cunningham had a buzzer-beating 3 to give the Chargers a 31-23 lead at the break.
Bambrook had all 12 Rocket points in the second quarter.
“We just didn’t have the defensive intensity we needed to start the game,” said E-B-F coach Travis Stout. “Chariton’s patience on offense really made our defense have to play in longer stretches, and we broke down some.”
The Rockets opened the third with a 5-0 run on a three-point play by Leffler and a Bambrook basket. Laing had two baskets and the visitors pushed the lead back to six at 36-30. Bambrook and Leffler combined for six points to keep E-B-F close at 38-36, and Jevin Jensen’s basket pulled the Rockets back into a tie with just over a minute to play in the third.
With Chariton clinging to a 39-38 lead — for the second time in as many quarters — Cunningham had a buzzer-beater. E-B-F trailed 41-38 heading to the fourth.
The Chargers, featuring a lineup of interchangeable parts, held the lead throughout the final quarter and hit all six of their late free throws to win it.
“We feel like we are a very versatile group,” added Schooley.
The Rockets used the scoring of Bambrook and Leffler to pull within two twice in the fourth, but the guard play of Laing and Alex Wright controlled the action in the final minutes. Wright would lead the Chargers with seven fourth-quarter points.
“It helps being a senior in these situations,” said Wright. “We condition to play uptempo, so that helps us be fresh and make plays late.”
After Bambrook scored his final points on a three-point play, Laing hit four free throws in the final 40 seconds to seal it.
“We really got a little stagnant on offense,” said Stout. “We didn’t move and screen like we needed.”
E-B-F (6-7, 0-6) will be looking to pick up their first SCC win Friday when they travel to Osceola to take on Clarke.
Chariton 57, E-B-F 48
CHAR 13 18 10 16 — 57
E-B-F 11 12 15 10 — 48
Chariton (57) — Wright 10, Laing 20, Willie Felderman 4, Carl Williams 2, Cunningham 10, Hockenson 11. Totals 21-41 10-16 57.
3-point goals — 5-11 (Wright 2, Laing 2, Cunningham). Fouled out —none . Rebounds — 30 (Cunningham 7). Assists — 12 (Cunningham 6). Steals — 7 (Felderman 3). Blocks — 1 (Felderman). Total fouls — 14. Turnovers — 18.
Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (48) — Jensen 2, Leffler 15, Christopher Welch 2, Trevor Swartz 2, Bambrook 27 . Totals 19-51 9-9 48.
3-point goals — 1-12 (Leffler). Fouled out — none. Rebounds — 16 (Bambrook 6, Leffler 6). Assists — 11 (Swartz 6). Steals — 13 (Leffler 7). Blocks — 4 (Bambrook 4). Total fouls — 12. Turnovers — 12.