CHALMERS — North Montgomery’s girls basketball team had the pieces together to pick up a season-opening win, but couldn’t get some late shots to fall as they fell to Frontier 31-30.
Trailing by as many as six in the second quarter, the Chargers got a bucket to make it a five-point deficit and they outscored the Falcons, who were also playing their first game, by six in the third quarter to make it 28-all going into the last eight minutes.
North could only get one field goal to settle, and missed all five free throws, while Frontier hit three free throws in that fourth quarter to pick up the win.
“We made some defensive adjustments in the second half,” North coach Ryan Nuppnau said. “We held Frontier to nine points in the second half and under 40 for the game. That defensive work gave us a great opportunity to win. We just couldn’t get some shots to fall. Last year we beat Frontier from the free throw line late and tonight we couldn’t get them to fall.”
The Chargers tried and tried to get the ball inside to the bigs, but when shots wouldn’t fall, the Falcons just packed the defense in even deeper.
“We watched a lot of tape on North,” first-year Frontier coach Kyle Marlatt said. “We decided we were going to make them shoot from outside. I thought we executed well down the stretch and really fought through some adversity. We practice every day on last minute and last 30-seconds situations, and I like how we executed that plan.”
The Chargers rebounding efforts were excellent, as the visitors owned a 53-24 rebound advantage. They also had a 17-3 edge in second-chance points.
The problem lay in not getting the ball inside enough times, as 23 turnovers hampered efforts, although Frontier only scored a dozen points off those turnovers.
“Taking care of the ball and making shots,” Nuppnau noted. “We also got a good look at our last-minute execution, which I thought was good. It just game down to not making some shots.”
Emily Sennett led North in scoring with nine points, followed by Katie Rice with seven. Both inside players had eight rebounds.
For the game, the Chargers were 10-of-45 from the field, went 1-of-15 from three-point range and were 9-of-18 from the line.
Frontier was led by Emi Frier with 10 points and Emma Blissett with eight points and five boards. The Falcons were 12-of-37 from the floor, 3-of-12 from long range and 4-of-12 from the line.
“We only won a single game last year,” Marlatt said. “This was a great win for the team.”
The Falcons have Clinton Central next on their schedule.
“Madi Welch, Grace McClaskey and Maddie Moseley did just a great job for us defensively tonight,” Nuppnau said. “They really shut down Frontier’s scorers in the second half. We just need to find some confidence in our shooting. The outside shots going down open up the inside, and the inside shots going down open up the outside. It was a good night, but frustrating.”
The Chargers Friday game with Parke Heritage has been moved to Thursday as North opens their home schedule.