ATTICA — Another balanced offensive attack led North Montgomery past Attica 56-28 on Friday night in girls’ basketball.
Grace McClaskey buried a pair of early 3-pointers and the Chargers grabbed a 14-3 lead after a quarter, and never looked back.
After Katie Rice was sidelined early in the first period with two fouls, North Montgomery turned to their guards to pick up the slack in scoring and defense, and to their remaining post players to handle the rebounding. McClaskey scored all 11 of her points in the first half, while Maddie Moseley added six to boost the Chargers to a 34-8 lead at the break. North Montgomery out-rebounded Attica 23-15 through the first 16 minutes.
“It was nice to see when we had a player down with foul trouble in Katie in the first quarter,” Chargers coach Ryan Nuppnau said. “It’s good to see the other players stepping up and picking up the lack and slack in rebounding and scoring and defense. It’s good to know that if you’ve got one person down, we’ve got others that can step up into her spot. And we knew that coming into the season that we would be well balanced like that.”
Rice returned in the second half, and scored eight quick points in the third quarter. The sophomore led the Chargers with 12 points in the win. Lydia Dugard and Makinze Rominger each added eight points in the win, while Emily Sennett chipped in seven.
Following back-to-back losses to start the season, North Montgomery (2-2) has won two-straight, and turned up the defensive intensity in the process.
“It’s nice that we have three guards in Madi Welch, Grace McClaskey and Maddie Moseley that can put ball pressure on the ball handler,” Nuppnau said. “And that’s something we haven’t quite had in the past. And if you can put pressure on the ball handler, it makes it tough on her.”
The Chargers forced 26 Red Rambler (0-1) turnovers, and only turned it over 19 times themselves.
“The first two games we were in the 20s in turnovers, and last year we were in the 20s in turnovers, and our last two wins we were in the teens,” Nuppnau added. “We talked to the girls before the game that if we keep the turnovers in the teens that means we got 10 extra possessions to get some shots up, and that also means 10 fewer possessions that the other team had to score. It’s good to see the girls are recognizing things, and being under control with the ball and making good decisions with the ball.”
North Montgomery will try to match their win total from last season when they open up Sagamore Conference play on Tuesday at Frankfort, before hosting the Sugar Creek Classic starting on Thursday.
“It’s huge when you can get a couple of wins like this early on,” Nuppnau said. “A couple of wins going into conference play against Frankfort on Tuesday is going to be big, and then the Sugar Creek Classic. Those are three games that are going to be very competitive, and going to be winnable. Having that drought last year with losses was tough, but a lot of these girls got playing time, and they’re hungry to turn things around from where we were last year,” “It’s a big confidence booster and you are starting to see that in their shots. Their shots are starting to fall, and just going to be big for it in the stretch.”