DANVILLE — Greencastle girls’ basketball team continued its red-hot streak by defeating the North Montgomery Chargers 51-47 in the semifinal final round of the Danville Sectional Friday night.
The win was the ninth out of its last 10 games for the Tiger Cubs (11-12). All 10 of those games have come after the start of the New Year.
For the Chargers the loss ended their season at 10-14. The 10 wins were the most for the Chargers since the team won went 11-13 in the 2016-17 season. It marked just the second time the team had won 10 or more games in the last seven years.
North Montgomery was one of those nine wins in the Tiger Cubs’ current streak as they beat the Chargers 62-41 on Jan. 14. This time they were within seconds of reversing the outcome when Grace McClaskey hit a 3-pointer with 51 seconds to play to put the Chargers on top 47-46.
That lead proved to be short-lived at Greencastle senior Madison Rodgers put the final dagger into the Chargers’ season when she nailed a 3-pointer of her own to give the Tiger Cubs a 49-47 lead with 18.8 seconds to play.
“We left her open and she hit a big shot,” North Montgomery coach Ryan Nuppnau said.
The Chargers still had a chance as Maddie Moseley drove the lane but her shot failed to fall and Greencastle’s Raigan Chavez pulled down the rebound and was fouled. She made the long walk to the other end of the court and iced the game with 7.9 seconds to play by hitting two free throws.
“I just can’t praise the effort we had out there tonight,” Nuppnau said. “This was without a doubt the best 32 minutes of basketball we have played all season. We were focused. We ran our offense. We played solid defense. It’s just a shame that we couldn’t get the win, but I am so proud of the way we battled back.”
The Chargers were down by double digits as the first half was winding down, but battled back to cut the lead at the break to 29-24.
“That was huge,” Nuppnau said. “A lot of times if we got down by double digits we would have folded, but not tonight. We battled back and that was great to see.”
Leading the way in that battle was senior Emily Sennett who scored a season-high 22 points, 10 in the first half and 12 in the second.
“Emily probably played the best game I have ever seen her play, not because of the 22 points, but because of her effort all over the court,” Nuppnau said.
The Chargers also were able to get Madi Welch in double figures as she ended the game with 10 points.
In the end though, the Chargers were done in by Rodgers. The Tiger Cub senior scored 20 points, well above her 5.4 average. Her final shot was the biggest killer.
Rodgers’ effort was needed as Greencastle’s leading scorer, Allison Stevens was saddled all game with foul trouble, including picking up her fourth foul a minute into the third quarter. She still ended the game with 18 points.
Nuppnau and the Chargers say goodbye to senior Sennett, Mosely and Sidney Zachary.
“Maddie is a fighter,” he said. “She won’t back down from anyone and we will miss that. Emily could score when we needed it and she played great defense and rebounded well for us. Sidney played a key role for us. Whether we needed her for 30 seconds or a full quarter she did whatever we needed. We will miss all three of them tremendously.”