The Chariton Varsity boys basketball team got off to a good start but couldn’t quite sustain it in a 78-40 loss to Clarke at Chariton this past Tuesday, Jan. 12. Chariton led several times early and played well for most of the first quarter before Clarke started to pull away.

Chariton guard Mason Smith shot 6-8 from inside the arc and 1-3 from three-point range to finish with 22 points, three assists and one steal. Ian Goben went 2-5 from three-point range and finished with 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks.

With the loss, Chariton moved to 0-6 overall and in the conference. The Chariton boys and girls home games against Albia Friday night were postponed.

“It was great to be back in the Charger Dome tonight and playing in front of the best fans in the conference. I was happy with our toughness and fight on the glass. Coming out of the last game rebounding was a major focus. We came out with great energy and execution, but failed to close out the final minute of the first quarter. From there we struggled with pressure and made a lot of silly turnovers that turned into easy baskets for Clarke. We are a young team and better composure will come as we get more games under our belt. We continue to work on valuing each possession and taking care of the ball,” Chariton Varsity boys Head Coach Brett Spiker said.

Goben got off to a hot start early and had seven of Chariton’s nine points in the first quarter. He scored their first basket and second one to give Chariton a 4-3 lead with 5:58 left in the first period.

After a basket by Clarke’s Cole White, Goben hit a three-pointer to put Chariton up 7-5. Clarke’s Taylor Henry hit a three to put Clarke up 8-7, but Smith of Chariton drove and was fouled and hit two free throws to put Chariton up 9-8.

Clarke went on a 10-0 run there to end the first quarter, which culminated on a basket by Henry following a steal to give the Indians an 18-9 lead after one period.

Clarke started the second quarter with a basket by Nick Neer to go up 20-9. Smith of Chariton hit a basket to cut it to 20-11, but from there the Indians went on a 10-0 run culminating on a basket by Jack Cooley to give Clarke a 30-11 lead with 5:59 left in the first half.

Following a Chariton timeout, the Chargers hit a free throw to stop the run. After Clarke’s Cooley hit a basket to make it 32-12, Goben of Chariton hit a three-pointer to cut it to 32-15. Clarke pushed the lead to 37-15 and following a Charger three-pointer to cut it to 37-18, Clarke went on a 6-2 run to lead 43-20.

Smith of Chariton scored and was fouled and hit the free throw for a three-point play to cut the lead to 43-23 with 1:24 left in the first half. After Clarke’s Fry hit a basket, McGee of Chariton hit two free throws with 48 seconds left to cut the Indian lead to 45-25. The score was 46-26 Clarke at halftime.

After scoring 17 points in the second period, Chariton struggled offensively in the third and was outscored 25-6 in the third period to trail 71-32 after three periods. Chariton couldn’t really rally offensively in the fourth and outscored Clarke 8-7 in a low-scoring fourth period.

McGee had three points, six rebounds and one assist. Alex Bates had three points, two rebounds and four steals. Blane Wallace had a team-high seven rebounds, one assist and one steal. Quenten Curtis had two rebounds. Devon Brown, Josh Desmond, Cutler Arnold and Wyatt Chipp each had one rebound. Aidan Mundt and Max Aulwes each had two steals.

For the game, Chariton shot 8-25, 32 percent, from inside the arc and 4-17, 24 percent, from three-point range. The Chargers shot 12-28, 43 percent, from the line. Chariton pulled down 28 rebounds including 19 defensive boards. Chariton had five assists, 28 turnovers, 10 steals and two blocks. Chariton committed 13 fouls.