Chargers basketball escapes Nogales

The Charter Oak boys’ basketball team was looking to recover from a rocky showing at the Whittier Holiday Tournament, and tonight was a step in the right direction. The Chargers hosted the Nobles of Nogales High School in their first home game of the season. While they have to fight to earn everything they have earned so far, the Chargers would truly have to grind this one out as it would come down to the wire. They would be able to pull of the narrow victory and come away with a 50-48 win.

Charter Oak would get the hot start and momentum to start the game, as they found themselves with a 12-3 lead in the early stages of the game. For the rest of the first quarter they were able to keep the Nobles at bay and would end it with a 16-10 lead.

The Chargers offense exploded in the second quarter. They got the job done on defense as well, keeping their momentum going and demoralizing the Nogales players. Charter Oak would go into halftime with a comfortable 31-23 lead.

The tides started to turn in the third quarter however, as the Nobles came out of halftime fired up and ready to grind out a comeback victory. It was a defensive battle to start the second half, as the Chargers were held to just six points in the third, and Nogales was right on their heels once again. Going into the fourth quarter, Charter Oak was clinging onto a 4 point lead, 37-33.

The Chargers were not going to let this game slip through their fingertips, and they came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. With just a few minutes left in the game, Charter Oak had their biggest lead of the night, 44-33.  Nogales would just refuse to go down. They would come right back to make this game close again. In the final minute of the game, Charter Oak had the upper hand going up, 48-45. Nogales would soon cut that lead town to 48-47 with about 20 seconds left, and while the Chargers had the ball a controversial foul was called on them, which resulted in free throws for Nogales. They made the first one to tie the game at 48; however, they would miss the second free throw. Senior shooting guard Amier Thomas then took it down the court and hit senior Anthony Ortega on a pick and roll to sink the game-winning layup in with five seconds left in the game. After a missed desperation shot by the Nobles, the Chargers celebrated their hard fought victory.

With this win, Charter Oak was able to end their preseason on a positive note. On January 14, they begin league play by visiting a tough Diamond Ranch team. 

— Andres Soto