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Chargers cruise past T-Birds

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    With her hair flying, Champion’s Field Gatlin (22) gets pressured by two Wagner defenders during Friday’s district contest. The Chargers applied most of the pressure on Friday and came away with a convincing win. Star photo: Kerry Barboza

Boerne Champion closed out the first round of district girls basketball with a statement win over one of the teams they’re jockeying with for playoff positioning.

The Chargers dominated Wagner in Friday’s matinee game and were one point away from doubling up the Lady Thunderbirds after they recorded the 71-36 victory.

Friday’s win ends the first round of district for Champion who is 6-2 in 26-5A, while Wagner drops to fourth at 5-3. Both teams are chasing Kerrville Tivy (8-0) and S.A. Veterans Memorial (7-1) who are ahead of them in the standings.

The Chargers (18-5) have a big game Tuesday when they host Veteran’s Memorial, 6:30 p.m. with a chance to move up to second.

Champion coach Marsha Hammond admits she was concerned about how her team would play after they were gored by the Antlers on Wednesday.

“After Tivy I was worried about them, but they came ready to work. I think getting beat by 25 by your rivals kind of woke them up a little bit,” she said. “Tuesday will be tough, they’re a good athletic team, but I think if we come in with that focus and play as a team we have a chance of doing something pretty cool.”

Hammond said the key to the win on Friday was that everyone played their respective roles.

“We talked about every single person’s role and every single person did their job,” she said. “Every person played their role, the bench was loud and whether they played one minute or four minutes, they did what they needed to do.”

Nine of the 10 players who saw action on Friday scored for the Chargers and helped them jump out to a 15-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. Champion started to pull away in the second after they outscored the T-Birds, 23-9, much to chagrin of the Wagner coach who drew a technical foul late in period.

The Chargers held a 38-17 lead at the break and then outplay the Thunderbirds in the third, taking the quarter, 17-6, to increase their lead to 55-23 by the time the game went to the fourth.

Wagner, who was held in single digits each of the first three stanzas and was without their best player, finally hit for double figures in the fourth with 13 points, but even then, Champion still outscored them after they dropped in 16.

The Chargers used a man-to-man defense throughout and it proved effective.

“I knew we could pressure the ball more and I was worried about them getting hot if we went zone,” Hammond said. “I knew we could match up with them.”

Prestley Hammond was feeling it from the outside and hit 4 of 5 3-pointers to lead the team in scoring with 12 points, while Caitlin Moon and Khiara Flugence both bothered Wagner with their height and tallied 10 points apiece.

Hannah Barraza and Field Gatlin were both one point away from double figures after they hit for 9 points each, Katie Drawdy scored 7, Hadyn Stadler finished with 6 points, while Sydney Reston and Megan Herrera chipped in with 4 points apiece.

Flugence grabbed a team-high 7 rebounds, blocked a shot and had a steal, Gatlin dished out 6 assists and Addisen King recorded 4 assists and a steal.