Jan. 8, 2013
GALESBURG—Sophomore guard Seth Wickert (Macomb, Ill./Macomb) scored a game-high 23 points and freshman forward Mitch Wendling (Athens, Ill./Athens) hit four key free throws down the stretch to lift the Carl Sandburg College men’s basketball team to an 81-76 win over Kishwaukee on Tuesday at John M. Lewis Gymnasium in the teams’ Arrowhead Conference opener.
The Chargers (10-5, 1-0) rebounded from a home loss Saturday against Olive-Harvey to pick up their fourth win in five games.
“It was nice for us to bounce back like this after what happened Saturday,” Sandburg coach Ryan Twaddle said. “The guys played with a lot of effort the entire night.”
A 9-0 run by the Chargers early in the second half gave them a 49-41 lead with 15 minutes, 40 seconds left, but the Kougars (13-3, 0-1) chipped away and took a 64-62 lead at 6:55. Sandburg responded with a 6-0 run and never trailed after that but not by more than five points.
Clinging to a one-point lead, Wendling, who finished with 12 points, hit two free throws with :19.8 left and two more at :08.3 after Kishwaukee missed a 3-point attempt and was forced to foul. Freshman guard Javauntae Hicks (Rockford, Ill./Auburn) added two more foul shots in the final seconds to close out the victory.
“We let them get back in it, but we were able to close it out,” Wickert said. “This is a big win for us to start 1-0 in the conference.”
Wickert scored 16 of his points in the first half, which included four 3-pointers.
“I was just in a groove and tried to be aggressive,” said Wickert, whose hot start helped Sandburg to a 38-37 halftime lead. “The guys did a good job finding me when I was open.”
Sophomore guard Zach Grover (Macomb, Ill./Macomb) scored 13 and freshman forward Aaron Powers (Springfield, Ill./Lanphier) added 10 for the Chargers.
Taylor Lavery hit three 3s and had a team-high 22 points for Kishwaukee. Marcel Neil and Marlon Maxey each added 11 off the bench for the Kougars.
The Chargers play their first Arrowhead road contest at 7 p.m. Thursday at Highland.
Carl Sandburg College men's basketball player Seth Wickert tries to drive past a Kishwaukee defender during Tuesday's Arrowhead Conference contest at John M. Lewis Gymnasium.