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Chargers back in win column

LINDEN — North Montgomery’s girls basketball team is hitting its stride at the right time.

The Chargers proved that on Monday night, stopping an 11-game losing streak with a 47-39 win over Sagamore Conference foe Frankfort.

“We got off to another great start, and that’s been big for us is getting off to a good start and normally in the past it’s been the second quarter when we kind of lose that steam and now it’s that third quarter,” North Montgomery coach Ryan Nuppnau said. “We lost the lead, but the girls hung in there and it’s neat to see with everything we’ve gone through and some of the big losses we’ve had that yes it shouldn’t have been as close of a game as it was, but we were able to find a way to win and find a way to finish.”

North Montgomery’s last win dated back to a 29-17 win over Riverton Parke on Nov. 5, and finally got back in the win column in a big way.

The Chargers (3-11, 1-3 SAC) led 20-11 at the half, but Frankfort (2-13, 0-4 SAC) outscored North Montgomery 20-10 in the third period to take a 31-30 lead. In previous games the Chargers would have folded, but not this time.

Trailing 33-30 with 6:50 to play, North Montgomery went on an 11-0 run. McKenzie Schroeder had back-to-back baskets, and everything was dropping for the Chargers from the foul line. They went 13-of-17 from the stripe in the fourth quarter, outscoring Frankfort 17-8 in the final stanza to win the game.

Katie Rice led the Chargers with 15 points and 15 rebounds, while Madi Welch added 12 points and seven boards and McKenzie Schroeder had 10 points and seven boards.

“It was good to see Katie getting a double-double, McKenzie Schroeder almost did, and Welch had 12 points and eight of those at the free throw line is huge,” Nuppnau said. “Good to see Nina (Gable) getting back on the scoreboard and Grace (McClaskey) after going cold the past few games and didn’t make an outside shot today was clutch for us in fourth quarter at the free throw line.”

Gable had six and McClaskey four, as they combined for a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.

Frankfort packed in a 2-3 zone, forcing some long misses by the Chargers. North Montgomery was 13-of-53 (25%) from the field, and didn’t make a 3-pointer, while Frankfort was 18-of-50 shooting. The strong performance from the line helped earn the win as the Chargers were 21-of-27 for the game on charity tosses, while the Hot Dogs were just 2-of-8.

“It comes down to getting used to playing with those bigs again and we will find a way, but we have to find a way to knock down some outside shots,” Nuppnau said. “They pack in a 2-3 zone and I guarantee other teams will start packing in a 2-3 zone if we don’t hit an outside shot.”

Schroeder and Rice, the Chargers tandem in the middle, combined for nine of their 13 field goals.

North Montgomery has three games remaining, all within the Sagamore Conference, and all games they hope to compete in.

“It’s huge because we got that monkey off our back of all these losses, all these losses, all these losses,” Nuppnau said “and we finally break over that winning line and there’s some games out there that’s going to be very competitive and winnable for us. It’s good to have that confidence and slowly getting back there.”

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