FORT WAYNE – Sometimes it was basketball. And sometimes, it more resembled Survivor: Huntertown.
Either way, the survivors – the Carroll Chargers, by a 48-45 count over the Concordia Cadets – will take it.
We did what we had to do to win, Carroll coach Marty Beasley said Friday, at the end of a night when his team had every opportunity to make it easy on themselves but didnt.
Feels good to come out and get a win, said Beasleys standout guard, Chander White, who scored nine of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to help get the Chargers (1-2) their first win of the season.
They did it over a young Concordia team (1-1) that leaned on its standout senior, D.J. McCall, who scored 22 to keep them hanging around. Despite two yawning droughts – Concordia went scoreless for 6:46 at one stretch and didnt make a field goal for 7:12 in another – and 18 turnovers, it came down to a 3-point attempt by the Cadets Reggie Tharp as the final seconds drained.
Tharps attempt kicked off the rim. It was the Cadets 22nd miss in 32 attempts across the last three quarters.
We got a lead and then kind of gave it away, Beasley said. But Im happy for the guys. Theyre only going to get better.
It took Whites return to the game with four fouls to help turn it in Carrolls favor. Down 35-30 after three quarters and 39-35 with 4:20 showing, McCall followed his own miss and then made an open-court steal followed by a dunk to tie it at 39 with 3:06 to play.
Enter White, who answered with a step-back 3 to give the lead back to the Chargers for keeps. Then he dropped a runner in the lane. After Jacob Hansen cashed a pair of free throws with 1:09 left, the Chargers had 46-39 lead and enough cushion to withstand two 3s by Concordia in the last minute.
Concordia started fast, hitting its first five shots and blowing out to an 8-0 lead while Carroll went scoreless for the first 3:26. But after going down 14-4 at the 2:52 mark of the first, Carroll climbed back into it.
Beginning at the 1:30 mark of the first quarter, the Chargers reeled off 14 straight points, gaining their first lead of the night on a White dunk at the 6:32 mark of the second. Carroll led 24-23 at the break.
Yeah, they came back, but we knew we had to keep our heads in it and score a couple points ourselves and wed be all right, White said. Coach always says get a stop, score, stop, score. So we tried to do that and it worked out for us.