COVINGTON — A short-handed North Montgomery girls basketball team, missing their leading scorer, came back from a 12-point third quarter deficit and defeated Covington 43-40 to pick up their fourth straight win.
The Chargers, who move to 7-3 on the season, put on a fourth-quarter press that harassed the Trojans, who fall to 3-6.
Down 31-19 in the last minute of the third quarter, North was down 10 heading into the final eight minutes.
“We put that press on,” Chargers coach Ryan Nuppnau said, “and it really boosted our confidence. Without our bigs, the guards had to go full court and took the ball away.”
That press kept the Trojans from getting a field goal until the last two-plus minutes of the game, and forced nine fourth -quarter turnovers that became nine points.
All this without the services of leading scorer Katie Rice, who broke a finger in her shooting hand Tuesday going for a rebound.
The sophomore’s 10 points and 4 rebounds per game had to be replaced, and the Chargers did that by committee.
“We faced another adversity (with Rice’s injury),” Nuppnau said, “But this unselfish team responded. Everyone stepped up.”
Leading the comeback were those pressing guards.
Maddie Moseley scored 10 of her 11 points in the final frame, going 3-of-4 from the line. She also picked up four of her game-best five steals in that last period.
Madi Welch was 4-of-4 from the line in the last quarter as well, as North went 10-of-12 from the stripe to finish. The sophomore was 6-of-8 from the line on her way to 10 points.
Emily Sennett dropped two field goals and grabbed three of her five rebounds in that last quarter, including a huge offensive board that was followed by a bucket.
Lydia Dugard hauled down five rebounds in the fourth on her way to a team-best seven, and Grace McClaskey had four assists and three steals along the way.
“I’m so proud of the girls,” Nuppnau said, noting that his team has now won six of their last seven games. “Our defense really kept us in the game, especially in the first half when we were sluggish offensively. We ran our continuity offense because we didn’t have the big to go inside, and it got us some shots. We had good balance – all these girls can score. When you go 10-of-12 from the line in the last quarter and have only four turnovers in the second half, that’s going to win you some games.”
The Chargers had turned the ball over nine times in the first half to the Trojans press, but found the control in the second.
From down that dozen, they scored seven in a row, then went on a 9-0 run to take the lead with three minutes left.
The teams traded the lead four times in the next two minutes before the Chargers took the lead for good on a Moseley field goal and free throw on successive possessions.
The Trojans were led in scoring by Reese Noble’s 15 points. Hope Linville had eight points and a game-best 12 rebounds. Covington was 14-of-43 from the field, compared to North’s 14-of-41. The Trojans were 8-of-15 from the line and North was 13-of-18. Covington had a 36-32 rebound advantage.
Covington is back in action Saturday at Clinton Central, while North heads into Sagamore Conference play next week with a Tuesday home game against Tri-West.
Covington won the JV game 43-17. Jaydelyn Phillips led North with eight points, and Micah Stonecipher had 11 for the Trojans.