For a second time this season North Montgomery was able to pull away from Crawfordsville in the second half for a victory. The Chargers outscored the Athenians 22-16 in the final quarter to earn a 52-44 county and conference win on Friday.
“We just found a way,” Chargers’ coach Ryan Nuppnau said. “It was a matter of in the third quarter we just kind of calmed down, and the nerves finally got out of us and we were just able to play.”
North Montgomery (8-5, 2-1 SAC) found balancing in the scoring column, and rekindled their early season magic at the free throw line.
Led by Maddie Moseley’s 16 points, the Chargers had a trio of scorers reach double-figures. Madi Welch added 13, while Emily Sennett added 10.
Clinging to a 34-33 lead early in the fourth quarter, Moseley hit a 3-pointer, and scored seven of the next nine Charger points to help North Montgomery pull ahead by nine and seal the game at the free throw line.
The Chargers were 18-of-24 from the charity stripe for the game, including 9-of-11 in the fourth quarter.
“We fought back,” Crawfordsville coach Tyler Smith said following the loss. “We had a big emphasis on if they went on runs, stopping the bleeding quickly. And we did that for the most part, but just couldn’t get over the hump.”
For the second straight meeting between the Athenians and the Chargers, North Montgomery was able to hold Lauren Kellerman in check offensively.
“Kellerman she is dangerous,” Nuppnau said. “She can create so well on her own and then she can draw in two or three girls on her own and then kick it out, and then the rest of her teammates were knocking down shots from the outside.”
The Chargers held Kellerman to 10 points, and just two field goals. In the first meeting back in November, Grace McClaskey held the senior to five points, but Friday night it was Lydia Dugard’s turn.
“Grace got into early foul trouble, and Lydia Dugard stepped in and played great defense on her,” Nuppnau added. “And Lydia was the difference in the game just her slowing Kellerman down and not letting her get what she wants.”
The Athenians (2-11, 0-4 SAC) were able to find scoring in other places. Sophomore Olivia Reed led the way with 11 points, while Shea Williamson scored eight, Kearston Hutchens seven, and Peyton Sinnet seven.
“We’ve been getting better at not being so reliant on one or two things,” Smith said. “We see it each day at practice that we have a lot of girls that can shoot, we just have to keep the confidence up. To be able to have different girls to do that.”
North Montgomery travels to a tournament at Delphi next Friday, while Crawfordsville hosts Parke Heritage in two weeks.