LINDEN — North Montgomery shot the ball as well as they have all season in Tuesday’s 58-42 win over visiting Benton Central. The Chargers also shut the door on a Bison comeback with free throws and defensive stops in the final three minutes of the ballgame.
North Montgomery, which has struggled at times in the fourth quarter this season, saw a 14-point lead dip to nine points on two occasions midway through the fourth quarter. The Chargers however made six-of-six charity tosses in the final 3:09 and outscored the Bison 10-5 the rest of the game.
Charger coach Chad Arnold was pleased to see his team answer the Bison run and extend the lead in the final minutes.
“Overall the fourth quarter was huge,” Arnold said. “We turned it on and every guy that stepped onto the court did a really good job.”
The Chargers took the lead for good early in the first quarter and rode some hot shooting in the first half. Connecting on 68% of their shots, including 4-of-6 from behind the arch, North Montgomery (9-9) outscored the Bison 33-19 after two quarters. The Chargers recorded 10 assists on their 11 first half field goals.
Arnold said his team executed what they have been working on in recent practices.
“Shots went in tonight because we had good ball movement and ball reversal,” Arnold said. “We did not take quick shots and had guys get into the paint. Then we did a good job of going outside to the open man.”
Benton Central (5-11) was victim to a good Charger defense. The Bison were held to 38% (16-42) shooting in the game which included hitting only 4-of-21 three point attempts. The Bison also turned the ball over 18 times in the game.
North Montgomery was efficient at the free throw line by making 21-of-28.
All eight players that saw action for North Montgomery scored in the game. Leading the way was Jaron Bradford with 13 followed by Preston Shaw’s 12 points. Logan Kelly came of the bench to score 10 points.
The Chargers bench outscored the Bison substitutes 18-6.
Leading scorer in the game was Benton Central’s Luke Lambeck with 14. The senior was the only Bison to reach double figures in scoring.
North Montgomery will seek their first Sagamore Conference win Friday when Frankfort comes to Charger Gym. The evening festivities will include Winter Homecoming and the 1969 and 1970 Darlington High School basketball teams will be honored for their back-to-back undefeated regular seasons. Also, the 1970 team from Waynetown High School will be honored. The Gladiators were the last county small school to win a sectional before consolidation fifty seasons ago.
North Montgomery 58, Benton Central 42
Benton Central 9 10 9 14 — 42
North Montgomery 14 19 7 18 — 58
Benton Central (5-11): Cael Williams 1-2 0-0 3, Chase Creek 3-8 1-1 8, Luke Lambeck 6-15 1-2 14, Kolten Rider 0-1 0-0 0, Jesse Stout 1-2 1-1 3, Dawson Brock 0-1 0-0 0, Conner Hall 3-6 2-2 8, Drew Brock 0-4 1-2 1, Blake Buchannon 2-3 0-0 5. Totals 16-42 6-8 42.