Roundball Rout

Chargers Fight Off Del Norte Knights in Big Second Half


On Tuesday, January 24, the Academy’s Boys Varsity Basketball team led Academy basketball to a tremendous trifecta, following same-day solid victories from Junior Varsity and C Team.

The Chargers showed they still have plenty of horsepower.

After a tough 11-point loss against Highland last Saturday, the Academy Chargers Varsity was able to battle back and grab a win against the Del Norte Knights. The Chargers blew out the Knights 66-38, extending their record to 15-3. The Knights fell to 11-8 on the season.

Despite the Knights missing their best player, Shane Douma-Sanchez ’23, because of a sprained ankle, the rest of the Knights team started off the game strong, battling with the Chargers in the first quarter. The Chargers led just 9-7 after the first quarter.

Then, at the beginning of the second quarter, the Chargers began to play their game: They pushed the ball up the court well, passed quickly and effectively and rebounded physically. Their defense continued to dominate the Knights, holding them to only 6 points in the second quarter.

Academy took over the game at this point, and they ended the half ahead by a dozen, 25-13.

Academy kept the pressure on for the rest of the game.

The Chargers did not let up as they outscored Del Norte 41-25 in the second half, finishing the game with a 28-point victory, 66-38.

Guards Dillon Mccleskey ‘24, Joe Jack ‘24, and Kellan Gehres ‘23 proved to be the greatest offensive threats, attacking the paint fearlessly and spotting up for lots of three-pointers and mid-range jump shots.

This trio combined for 53 of the Chargers 66 points.

Gehres was the leading scorer for Academy, racking up 19 points. Mccleskey and Jack both contributed 17 points each to spark the offense.

“I think we played well as a team and moved the ball around in the second half,” said Gehres. “Our defense led to a strong offense, which gave us a lot of easy baskets. We played at our pace in the second half which ended up getting them tired.”

Then the Academy guard spoke about what they can improve on heading into their next game.

“We can improve on being better on defense and getting rebounds. Also, starting out the game strong and continuing throughout the first half playing our game.”

Along with his 19 points, Kellan also proved to be a playmaker, leading the team with 4 assists.

Jack, another top scorer, also proved to be a ferocious rebounder as he led the Chargers with 8 rebounds.

After the game, Marcos CdeBaca, in just his second year as Varsity Head Coach, talked about his team’s victory.

“I thought we made some very good adjustments. Del Norte surprised us. They came out and held us to a low score in the first half and made some tough shots. But we changed up defenses, and our team responded. We got deflections and went and scored some baskets. We could improve on being patient. I felt we got frustrated a few times. If we are patient and wear teams down, our athletic ability will take over and we will get to play our game.”

Coach CdeBaca then touched on what his long-term goal was for the season.

“Our team goal has always been to get to the Pit (at UNM) to play in the State Championship. This is the goal and it should be the goal for every team. It’s always been the goal for our team.”

This Chargers victory broke a one-game losing streak and extended their record to 15 wins and 3 losses.

They next face Bernalillo today, Thursday, January 26 at 7:00 pm.

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