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Chargers Head to Region IV Semis Behind Wendling’s Big Night

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March 2, 2017
GALESBURG — Matt Wendling (Athens, Ill./Athens) hit five 3-pointers and had team highs of 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Carl Sandburg College men’s basketball team held off McHenry County 78-67 on Thursday night at John M. Lewis Gymnasium in the quarterfinals of the Region IV District 3 tournament.

 

The third-seeded Chargers (17-14), who have won four of their last five, advance to face No. 7 seed Black Hawk, which upset No. 2 Oakton 92-91 in overtime on Thursday, in the semifinals at noon Sunday at Waubonsee. The Chargers and Braves split a pair of matchups in the regular season, with each winning on their home floor. The championship is scheduled for 5 p.m. March 11 at Waubonsee.

 

Wendling posted his second double-double of the season as Sandburg pulled away down the stretch against the sixth-seeded Scots (8-22). The Chargers never trailed in the contest but saw a 12-point second-half advantage cut to 60-56 with 3:29 to play.

 

Coming out of a timeout, Sandburg sophomore Duncan King (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods) found Eric Williams (Memphis, Ill./Ridgeway) for a three-point play. After a McHenry County layup, Wendling drained his fifth 3-pointer of the night, and Shane Maple (Peoria, Ill./Peoria) fed Isaiah Thurmond (Alton, Ill./Alton) for a layup on the Chargers’ next possession to push their lead to 68-58 with 1:47 to go.

 

“There were some moments where the game could’ve gotten away from us, but our guys did a great job of keeping their composure and coming up with big plays when we needed them,” Chargers coach Ryan Twaddle said. “We’ve been playing pretty well as of late, and hopefully we can keep it going this weekend.”

 

Wendling finished 5 of 8 from long distance, and his 10 boards matched a personal best. The freshman forward has gone 11 of 19 from beyond the arc in the last two games.

 

Thurmond, who scored the Chargers’ first eight points of the night, finished with 16, and Williams ended up with 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting as well as eight rebounds.

 

The Scots’ Tyler Lewis led all players with 24 points, with 20 coming in the second half.

 

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