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BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Chargers, Mounties to meet Friday night

Last season North Montgomery and Southmont combined for nine wins, and a pair of the Mounties’ four wins came over the Chargers. Neither team cares. Friday night’s matchup at North Montgomery will be 85th meeting between the two county rivals, and the rivalry will march forward with two completely different teams than a season ago. “I don’t think last year’s games matter much,” Southmont coach Jake Turner said. “North has a new coach and their players have improved. These are two different teams and the one that executes their game-plan and plays with more effort and poise will come out on top.” First-year North Montgomery coach Chad Arnold says the veteran-led Chargers haven’t spent much time discussing county and conference games as anything other than just another game. “We haven’t talked about it much at all honestly,” he said. “I believe in these guys, and we are a different team. We are not the same team as last year. We are older, and they’ve learned from a lot of their mistakes.” The Chargers enter Friday 1-0, following a 60-44 win over Speedway to start the season. Arnold believes if they worry about themselves, they’ll have a good chance to come out on top. “We are just going to try and play tough, and play our style of basketball,” he said. “We just have to do things right, take care of the basketball, and rebound.” For Southmont, the Mounties are 0-2 after suffering losses to South Vermillion 58-46, and North Putnam 66-56 to open their season. Turner thinks his team has done a good job offensively in the half-court, but knows they must be patient against the Chargers. “When we have not turned the ball over or taken quick shots, I think we have been solid in the 1/2 court,” he said. “We need to be more patient offensively, as North does a really good job with their defensive rotation.” The two teams will square off on Friday night at North at 7:30 p.m. Athenians hope to continue win steak against Tigers Crawfordsville enters Friday night’s matchup with Lebanon on a four-game winning streak against the Tigers. The Athenians beat Lebanon twice last season, including in the sectional, and won 65-55 in overtime at Lebanon back in 2017. “We are confident, but they are a veteran group, and going to be hard to beat Lebanon at Lebanon,” Crawfordsville coach David Pierce said. The Athenians enter Friday 1-1, after splitting a pair of games with Greencastle and Benton Central last week, while Lebanon is 0-2 after back-to-back losses to Hamilton Heights and Western to start the season. Friday will be a girl/boy doubleheader with the girls tipping at 6 p.m. The Athenians enter Friday 1-7, looking for their first win over Lebanon since the 2010 sectional. North boys’ basketball welcomes Pacers Power Pack on Friday North Montgomery is bringing the Indiana Pacers Power Pack to Charger Gym, this Friday when they battle the Southmont Mounties. The Power Pack will perform at halftime of the varsity game where they will perform acrobatic dunks. They will stay around after their halftime show to sign autographs and take pictures. Plus, North Montgomery will honor all of the youth basketball teams and players in the program as well. You’re not going to want to miss this night of great entertainment!

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