In the Concorde opener for both teams, Chantilly defeated Madison on Thursday night, 64-56. It was the Chargers’ seventh win in their last nine games.
The Chargers (1-0, 9-5) ended the first half with a 28-21 lead and did not let go of it for the rest of the night. Madison played a full court press for the majority of the game, which caused some Chantilly turnovers early. However, the Chargers were able to adjust to the full court pressure and create some wide open looks for their shooters, as they ended up shooting 57% from the field as a team.
Senior guard Derek Smith led the way for Chantilly, ending his night with 16 points, including going 8 of 9 from the free throw line and a two-handed dunk in the final seconds. Junior guard Chris Miers followed with 15 points of his own, including two three-pointers.
The Chargers got some great production from two of their big men as well. Senior forward Avery Hinz finished with eight points and five rebounds, and Junior James Pogorelc finished with six points. Both players were key to the back end of the Chantilly press break, finishing consistently from the block.
It was a frustrating loss for Madison (0-1, 7-7) as the Warhawks won the turnover battle, forcing 13 and only committing eight of their own. Despite taking better care of the ball, their offense struggled to keep up with Chantilly. They shot just 43% from the field as a team.
On a positive note for Madison, senior forward AJ Arnolie had a breakout game with 19 points, shooting eight for 10 from the field. He started out the game red-hot, making his first eight shots.
Madison hung around, as they cut the Chantilly lead down to just three with a little over four minutes left in the game. But two scoreless possessions from the Warhawks in the final minutes sealed the win for the Chargers.
Both teams will meet again at Madison on January 22nd.