Courier sports staff
ALBIA — Christian Bengtson scored eight points in overtime, including a pair of big 3-pointers, as the Chariton boys basketball team avenged a home loss that needed four extra minutes earlier this season by besting Albia, 68-62, in the second overtime game of the season between the two South Central Conference contenders.
The win edged Chariton ahead of the Blue Demons by half a game in the SCC standings. Both the Chargers and Centerville finished Friday night with one conference loss each, one less than the Blue Demons as Albia took their second-straight loss in conference play. Centerville won at Albia last Friday, 65-57.
T.J. Hockenson and Matt Baker, who became Albia’s all-time leading scorer on Friday, went toe-to-toe through the opening half. Hockenson and Baker both scored 14 points to lead the Chargers and Blue Demons, respectively, in the first half as Chariton edged ahead of Albia 33-32 at halftime thanks to three 3-pointers by Bengtson.
Daric Laing gave Chariton the lead back with a long 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter. Hockenson followed with a shot in the post to put the Chargers up 52-48.
Albia battled back and regained the lead on a Victor Sanders conventional three-point play with under three minutes left. Hockenson nailed a pair of go-ahead free throws with 1:54 left to give Chariton a 54-53 lead.
Albia forced a turnover with 22 seconds to go after missing a potential go-ahead jumper. Hugen’s drive for a go-ahead basket, however, led to a charge drawn by T.J. Hockenson.
The ensuing inbounds pass by the Chargers, however, went off the leg of Daric Laing resulting in a turnover with 7.1 seconds left. Albia took advantage as Tanner Wynn picked up a loose ball in the post and drew a foul on Hockenson with 0.6 seconds left. After making the first of the one-and-one to tie the game, Wynn’s potential winning free thrown rattled out to send the game into overtime.