Try on this logic for size: The Chatfield Chargers whipped the Chaparral Wolverines on Dec. 4, just two days after the Wolverines took the two-time Class 5A defending champion East Angels into overtime.
So that must mean the Chargers are way better than the top-ranked Angels, right?
Welcome to prep hoops in early December.
Chatfield (1-1) opened its boys basketball season Dec. 1 with a narrow loss to Heritage, co-host of the annual ThunderRidge/Heritage Tip-Off Classic, before finding a heap of redemption against Chaparral.
Behind the hot shooting of Tyler Haidaris, Landon Vermeer and Dean Wright, the Chargers jumped out early and held on for a 77-63 nonleague victory.
The Chargers held the Wolverines (1-1) to 13 first-half points and led by as many as 27 before the break. The Wolverines would answer, as a 9-1 run became a 16-4 run and Chatfield’s lead was twice whittled down to eight points – once with less than two minutes remaining.
"We came out strong in the first half, and we knew they were going to get chewed out (before) the second half, because they’re a better team than that," Haidaris said.
Haidaris scored 9 of his 20 points in the first quarter, Vermeer was held scoreless in the first quarter but finished with 17, and Wright scored eight of his 14 points in the second quarter. Jordan Carter added 11 points as the Chargers held Chaparral’s starters to a combined 22 points.
"In the last game we were rushing a little bit too much, and turning the ball over too much," Vermeer said. "Even though we turned the ball over (Dec. 4), we forced more turnovers with our press and we finished off it, which we didn’t do in the last game."
The Chargers never trailed and led 9-1 on a 3-pointer by Haidaris, before the senior dropped another basket to just before the end of the quarter to make it 16-5. The Chargers poured it on in the second quarter with an 11-1 run that led to a commanding 38-13 halftime lead.
The Wolverines took over in the third quarter and knocked Chatfield’s lead down to 52-45 with a little more than 1:20 remaining. But Tyler Rogers answered with two breakaway layups off defensive rebounds by Kyle Slavin, and Haidaris nailed a shot with less than a second remaining from just inside half-court to give the Chargers a 60-45 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Chargers stretched their lead out to 65-45 before the Wolverines went on an 18-6 run to trim Chatfield’s lead to 71-63 with just under two minutes remaining. Chatfield didn’t play keepaway to run out the clock, and Vermeer hit a big 3-pointer to ice the game.
"We took their best shot in the second half," Chargers coach Steve Schimpeler said of the Wolverines. "They outscored us, but I thought we responded. Every time they made a run, we usually answered. Maybe not as quickly as I might have liked, but we did answer."
Trevor Wages was hampered by foul trouble the entire game before fouling out with 2:09 remaining. The 6-foot-7 junior had two points.
Chatfield: Ty. Rogers 3 0-0 6, Haidaris 7 4-7 20, Vermeer 6 3-4 17, Carter 5 1-3 11, Wages 1 0-2 2, Slavin 1 1-2 3, Wright 5 0-1 14, Ta. Rogers 1 0-0 2, Teague 1 0-0 2. Totals 30-9-19 77.