Game of the Week: Charlotte avenges Ionia loss; pulls within game of at least a CAAC-White share

Orioles move to 8-1 in CAAC-White.
Charlotte avenges Ionia loss with 40-37 win at home
Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 11:08 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WILX) - Just over a month ago, Charlotte lost a heartbreaking overtime loss on the road at Ionia.

Both teams came into Friday’s contest log-jammed atop the CAAC-White race, with Ionia unbeaten at 8-0.

The Orioles avenged their January loss with a 40-37 win, pulling within one win of at least clinching a share of the league title, something that’s been a long time coming in Charlotte.

“Charlotte hasn’t won in 31 years a conference,” Charlotte head coach Tom Fleming said, holding back tears. “I’m emotional right now. I’m just so happy for them, the whole town, the school, it’s great.”

What a turnaround for Fleming’s club, which finished 1-10 in the league a season ago, to now 9-1, a game out from a share of the league.

“We work hard every single day in practice. We know what’s in front of us and we know what we have to do to get it done,” senior guard Braden Hill said. “We just work hard, no matter who we play, it’s just the same thing everyday.”

Charlotte knows there’s more work to be done before celebrating a league title, finishing league play with Eaton Rapids Feb. 24.

“We haven’t won it yet. One more,” Fleming said. “Eaton Rapids, that’s our rival. They would want nothing better than to come in here and pull that one off. Friday, hopefully we’re cutting down some nets.”

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