Dwinal “charges” towards history

Senior Tyler Dwinal on pace to break Community’s single-season charge record

For 35 years, Jim Mattson, Sports Director for Peoria’s Channel 25 News, has covered high school hoops in central Illinois, reporting on the likes of Illinois hardwood legends like Anthony Davis, Shaun Livingston and Derrick Rose.

Whether witnessing Davis’ back-breaking blocks, Livingston’s mid-range fadeaways or Rose’s thunderous throwdowns in transition, Mattson has seen it all. 

This season, Community’s 6’5″ starting center, Tyler Dwinal’s (’22) unique ability to draw a charge has captured Mattson’s attention. 

 

With eight regular-season games remaining, Dwinal is two charges short of breaking Trevor Seibring’s single-season charge record of 23, set in 2012.

In 23 games, Dwinal’s positioned himself within striking distance of Seibring’s record — a record Seibring needed a combined 30 regular and postseason contests to set.

Dwinal’s name stands at second in the Ironmen record books with 22 charges on the season, surrounded by Community basketball legends: former Illinois Wesleyan University star Seibring in first, Kyle Dierkes in third, and Wright State’s CJ Wilbourn at fourth.

On the road to the record, Dwinal averages nearly one charge a game, including a seven-game streak of adding tallies to his season total and two three-charge games — the Ironmen’s State Farm Holiday Classic Championship win over East St. Louis and again in the team’s home matchup with Rock Island.

Dwinal’s game-sealing charge against East St. Louis secured the State Farm Holiday Classic Championship for the Ironmen. 

The 40-38 win stands out as proof that a well-timed charge can change a game.

“It felt like making a buzzer-beater,” Dwinal said, describing the charge he drew against Mizzou commit Christian Jones (’22), negating the Flyer’s game-winning layup attempt, giving possession and the win to the Ironmen.

The charge netted the program’s 7th first-place trophy, the most in Holiday Classic History, and Coach Dave Witzig’s record-tying 58th Holiday classic win.

While not every charge brings the same excitement or is a historic achievement, each can impact a game.

“It’s like a momentum swing,” Dwinal said. “It’s a boost to the team, helps them get re-engaged.”

The Ironmen have drawn the most charges this season during the final quarter of play.

The Ironmen have taken advantage of the boost Dwinal’s charges provide on the way to a 22-1 record, with the majority coming inside the fourth quarter, including two of his three in the Rock Island matchup.

The charge isn’t flashy. They don’t often make Sportscenter’s top 10, but they can be the unsung hero of basketball highlights, which Dwinal prides himself on.

“You need a little bit of grit, a little bit of manliness. You just have to sit there and wear it,” Dwinal said.

Each time Dwinal slides in front of the offensive player’s dribble drive, setting his size thirteen shoes firmly, as he takes the impact of a player driving the lane at full speed, he is one step closer to Ironmen infamy — even if he occasionally takes more contact than he bargained for.

“Every now and then, they land on you,” Dwinal said.

 

The Ironmen take on Intercity and Big 12 Conference rival Bloomington High School at home on Friday, Jan. 21, at 7:00 p.m.