LINDEN — North Montgomery played arguably one of the most complete games of the season in Friday’s 62-54 win over Greencastle. The Chargers played with composure despite riding an emotional roller coaster due to the absence of senior Kade Kobel.
Kobel missed the Senior Night festivities due to an unexpected death of a family member earlier.
“It was a very emotional day for these guys and everyone. Personally I have never been through a situation like this before and I thought our players handled it with a maturity level that made me very proud,” Charger coach Chad Arnold said. “I love coaching these kids and I thought they played very well tonight under some tough circumstances.”
North Montgomery (12-10): Alex Wallace 4 1-3 11, Jaron Bradford 6 0-2 14, Preston Shaw 5 1-2 12, Keifer Carmean 0 0-0 0, Jack Thompson 5 3-4 13, Logan Kelly 1 0-0 3, Zak Searle 3 0-0 6, Kolton Scrimmager 0 2-2 2, Jakob Kirsch 0 1-2 1, Braden Marten 0 0-0 0, Nick Norman 0-0 0 0, Jamyson Roche 0-0 0 0, Benjamin Pietsch 0-0 0 0. Totals 24 8-15 62.
North Montgomery (12-10) took the lead for good at the 2:16 mark of the first quarter when Alex Wallace hit a short jump shot to make the score 11-9. The Chargers ended on a 10-0 run to lead 16-9 heading into the second quarter.
Early in the second period Greencastle trimmed the lead to 19-17 at the 5:45 mark but the Chargers again made a run and found themselves up 33-23 at halftime.
Greencastle (15-7) was never able to come closer than six points the rest of the game. Every time the Tiger Cubs appeared ready to make a run, the Chargers had an answer. North Montgomery led 46-39 heading into the final stanza.
The Chargers showed patience in the final quarter which resulted in matching their largest lead of 10 points twice in the period. With just under one minute left in the game, North Montgomery had a comfortable 59-49 lead when both coaches cleared their benches.
The Charger faithful erupted into a standing ovation as smiling Charger players congratulated themselves with high fives and hugs for the five senior players.
Four senior Chargers finished the game in double figures. Jaron Bradford finished with 14 points and Jack Thompson scored 13 points. Preston Shaw and Alex Wallace scored 12 and 11 respectively.
Greencastle was led in scoring by junior Brody Whitaker’s 18 points despite only scoring four points in the first half. Evan Alexander scored 12 and Cade Plew added 10.
Arnold said his squad being able to overcome heartbreak and to play as well as they did was impressive.
“We had to play with a big player out tonight and that was tough,” Arnold said. “For 15, 16 and 17-year-old kids it was great to see them stay focused and play so well.”
Greencastle is a potential sectional opponent next week. The Tiger Cubs open sectional play Tuesday against Frankfort with the winner meeting the Chargers at 6 p.m. Friday. Even with last night’s win, Arnold is expecting Greencastle, who are the defending sectional champions, to play better in the tournament next week.
“Greencastle is a good ball club and we know, if we play them, they will be tough at home,” Arnold said. “This is a confidence builder. We are playing good basketball and I am seeing that in practice. Hopefully we get to play a lot of basketball next week.”