ELK HORN – The ACGC Chargers and Exira-EHK Spartans split Saturday afternoon non-conference games.

They say basketball is a game of runs. For the girls’ game, an 11-2 third quarter run by the class 1A 12th ranked Spartans (10-1) helped put away ACGC (6-4) 66-57.

The Spartans, overcame a sluggish second quarter where they were scoreless in the first four minutes of the quarter. The Spartans offense found some rhythm again though as they scored 13 points in the last four minutes, but still trailed 29-28 to an upset-minded Charger team.

Once the Spartans took the lead two minutes into the third, the lead was there’s for good despite the Spartans missing 10 second half free throws.

“We definitely did better at making our free throws down the stretch,” Spartan girls coach Tom Petersen said. “Finishing 22 of 34 still isn’t all that good, but it is an improvement. We found a way to win. We didn’t play sharp in pretty much every area, but credit to ACGC. They are way more physical than what we were and when you’re more physical a lot of good things are going to happen. Hopefully we can build on this because we have a big week coming up.”

Exira-EHK junior Tatum Grubbs and sophomore Macy Emgarten lead the way with the game high 18 points.

ACGC was lead EmmaKay McClain and Alaina Bunde who each scored 10 points for the Chargers.

The boys action proved to be just as entertained to the “Blue Out of Bo Bartz” crowd. The lead changed seven times and no lead ever exceeded nine points.

ACGC (4-6) took the win over Exira-EHK (5-4) 52-50.

Five of those lead changes happened within the second half as they teams traded baskets seemingly through the whole half. However, back-to-back treys from the Spartans tied the game up again at 43 and once on the Chargers took the lead on their next basket, they never surrendered the lead again.

“We just dug ourselves too much of a hole in the first half,” Spartan boys coach Doug Newton said. “We had to scratch and claw to get back in the game. They’re a very athletic team and they beat us to a couple of loose balls and we missed a couple of shots that normally fall for us, so all in all I thought we still played really balanced offensively.

“Hats off to (freshman) Easton Nelson who also step up for us and got some things done. This team is still getting better.”

Spartan senior Creighton Nelson lead all scorers with 20 points. ACGC senior Bryce Littler lead the Chargers with 15 points.

Exira-EHK’s next game will be Tuesday at Glidden-Ralston. ACGC will host Madrid, also on Tuesday.