First Week Offers Chargers Plenty to Work On

Boys defeat Adams, get dominated by Penn

Joe Hacker, Sports Editor

A week into the boys basketball season and so far we really only know one thing when it comes to the Carroll Chargers, and that is that we know nothing.

The Chargers opened their season on Tuesday night against South Bend Adams and after a good first half that saw the Chargers go to halftime leading 26-21 on the back of great play from David Ejah, the Chargers had a brutal third quarter where the Chargers couldn’t break the South Bend Adams trap to save their lives in the last few minutes and on the back of Ejah were able to hang around long enough to be down just four points at the end of the frame after giving up a whopping 25 to the Eagles.

Going into the fourth quarter the Chargers needed anything positive to happen for them to get back on track and that came in the form of Dan McKeeman. McKeeman got hot from range and scored 11 of his 18 points to will the Chargers to a 65-58 victory over the Eagles alongside the standout 23 point performance of Ejah. The Eagles were led in scoring by Quentez Columbus who scored a game-high 24 points.

While the Chargers picked up the win in this game, they certainly got a little lucky as for some reason Adams really laid off the trap in the fourth quarter which made zero sense considering how effective it had been to that point in slowing the Chargers offense. On the offense, Ejah was a monster on Tuesday plain and simple, and anyone who saw the game knew it. The Eagles just didn’t have an answer for the big man and he made them pay. The key for Ejah this season will be consistency. Last year he started hot but slowed down a bunch, he was still good don’t gfret me wrong, but this year he will need to bring that greatness he is capable of every night because frankly this team doesn’t seem to have many other weapons offensively.

McKeeman was fantastic as well, really leading in the fourth quarter when the team needed it most. His ability to pull things like that off will be huge for the team this season, as a four year varsity player he should be the undisputed floor general for this team, similar to how Arius Jones had been for the team in the past.

The Chargers returned to action on Saturday night against the visiting Penn Kingsmen but had a much different result, falling by a score of 69-45 in a game that was never really close.

Penn’s Drew Lutz dominated from start to finish nearly putting up a triple double and falling just one assist short of a double double with 23 points nine assists and eight steals to put together a Mr Indiana basketball caliber performance.

Penn was on fire from beyond the arc to start the game and led 19-7 after one and would build that lead to 14, going to the locker room with halftime score of 38-24.  The Chargers occasionally got some momentum going their way thanks to McKeeman who took 14 points to the half but could not get on an extended run to bring the game close.

The third quarter was more of the same as the Chargers couldn’t get close and the Kingsmen maintained a lead that bounced around 20. Adding insult to injury, Penn finished off the quarter with a buzzer-beater, their second of the contest. In the fourth the Chargers continued to struggle as the Kingsmen rolled to a 24 point win.

Despite the lopsided loss, McKeeman continued to be a bright spot for the Chargers, scoring 16 points to lead the team.

The Chargers will have the figure things out quickly, as they will face their toughest test of the first semester this Saturday when they make the road trip up to Kendallville to take on East Noble (2-0) a team many have in the top three area teams this season coming off last years 20-3 record.

The Knights are off to a strong start this season with two wins this week against West Noble and Lakeland. The highly touted offense led the way as the team scored 83 and 77 points respectively on their way to blowout wins. However the Knights will be tested early this week as preseason favorite Snider makes the trip up north.

The game against East Noble will be the Chargers last before SAC play begins the following Friday. Tip off for the East Noble game will be at 7:30.