The Blue Demon basketball team evened their SCC record at 1-1 on Tuesday night defeating Chariton 56-44 in Albia in what can only be described as a slugfest.
In the end, Albia’s offensive and defensive intensity got Chariton into foul trouble.
Albia got off to a 5-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game only to have the Chargers cut the margin to 5-4 in two quick possessions. Suffice it to say, had the Blue Demons been wearing tear-away Jerseys it would have been shirts verses skins.
Thanks to two three-point goals by Joe Teno the Blue Demons were able to hold on to the lead throughout the period which ended 15-10.
Chariton’s defensive stopper, all-state running back Dylan Cain, went to the bench with two fouls against Blake Chance. His replacement, another football standout in Jordan Wood, could not keep pace with Albia’s super soph.
A shot from beyond the arc by Braden Messamaker and a field goal by Chance widened the margin to 20-14 but the Chargers were stubbornly staying close, and with one minute left in the half Albia’s lead had shrunk to 22-21. A three-point goal by Chance gave the home team a 25-21 halftime advantage.
The second half began with two consecutive field goals by Albia to make it 29-21. The Blue Demons were able to maintain the margin as Chance made four field goals and two free throws while Messamaker added the three-point goal and a field goal. The teams headed to the final eight minutes with Albia holding a 40-29 lead.
Foul trouble began to plague the Charger efforts in the fourth quarter as two starters picked up their fifth fouls and another played with four. Albia took advantage hitting seven of 10 shots from the free throw line. The Chargers were unable to cut the deficit to less than seven points throughout the period and Albia sealed the victory.
“I was really proud of our effort,” said Coach Kevin Archer. “All nine that played did some really good things. Blake had a special night, but he got 10 from the line and probably six or so on transition steals.”
Chance led all scorers with 33 points while Teno and Messamaker had eight points each. Nathan Wynn added four points and Blake Stewart had two. Beau Leshen had three assists, Chance two; Nate Crall, Teno and Dawson Hermsen each had one.
Wynn led the team in rebounding with six while Chance had three, Crall three, Leshen two, Hermsen one, Beau Leshen two, Teno one and Carson Stocker one. Chance had two steals, Wynn and Crall had one steal each.
“Having only six turnovers was key,” said Coach Archer. “This was a super important win for us.”
Albia improves to 1-1 on the season and 1-1 in the SCC. They will travel to Centerville on Friday night and to Twin Cedars on Saturday. They will be on the road Tuesday at Clarke County.
Chariton falls to 2-1 overall and 2-1 in conference play.