DELPHI —North Montgomery used a stout defensive effort to defeat Delphi 30-24 Friday night in the Indiana Kitchen Holiday Classic semi-final.
The Chargers (9-5) held the Oracles (7-6) to just eight second half points, and without a field goal for over 15 minutes.
“It was just a matter of doing what we do — nothing special,” North Montgomery coach Ryan Nuppnau said of the halftime adjustments. Taking care of our defensive principals and defensive fundamentals. And doing that, we knew we would put ourselves in a good situation.”
A Haley Nelson bucket and free throw from Kiara Morris gave Delphi a 19-14 advantage early in the third quarter, but the Chargers dominated the rest of the way.
Maddie Moseley nailed a 3-pointer to spark a 5-0 run, and Katie Rice gave the Chargers the lead for good at 21-20 with 18 seconds left in the third quarter. Rice led North Montgomery with 10 points.
Nuppnau said the key to the second half was execution, and he felt like his team did that, despite a poor shooting performance.
“I told the girls at halftime that the team that was going to win was the team that wanted it more and executed,” he said. “And we executed much better in the second half defensively that allowed us to stay in the game.”
The Chargers, who came into the game shooting 62 percent from the free throw line, were just 7-of-21 (33 percent) from the charity stripe, and connected on 11-of-29 (38 percent) from the field.
Nelson led the Oracles with 12 points, but the Chargers limited her to a 2-of-6 effort four just four points in the second half, and held Delphi leading scorer Lillie Smith to five points.
“She (Nelson) is a good player for them and tough down low — it was just a matter of stepping up,” Nuppnau said. “Grace McClaskey and the other guards did a great job of taking away No. 4 (Smith). Emily Sennett had some big rebounds at the end, and Lydia Dugard and Hadley Broadwater came in, in some clutch times defensively for us, and Maddie Moseley and Madi Welch just grounded it out down there.”
Delphi connected on just 9-of-42 (21 percent) shots from the floor.
Moseley added seven points for the Chargers, while Welch added six.
North Montgomery will face a 10-2 Pioneer team in the championship game at 6 p.m. tonight at Delphi.