LIZTON — Tri-West replicated their season mantra. Suffocating their opponent with pressure defense and leading to run-out baskets. The Bruins jumped out to a 20-3 lead after a quarter on their way to a 65-34 win over North Montgomery to win the Class 3A Sectional No. 25.
A total of 11 Bruins saw the floor and each found the scoring column. Tri-West forced 43 North Montgomery turnovers, which led to 71 shots taken compared to just 34 for the Chargers.
The first quarter was a worst case scenario for North Montgomery (5-14), but the Chargers never quit. They had come too far this season, even in the last week to just roll over. Through COVID-19 quarantines, injured and sick players — there was always fight in the Chargers this season to final whistle on Saturday night.
“Proud of them, we won that second quarter and I think we won the fourth quarter too,” North Montgomery coach Ryan Nuppnau said. “That just goes to the type of girls that we have. We have girls that just aren’t going to give up and when you challenge them even more, they’re going to step up and they’re not quitters. And they’re also girls who want to respect the game and not embarrass it and went out and just fought harder and harder.”
Hadley Broadwater scored seven second quarter points and the Chargers outscored the Bruins 11-10, trailing 30-14 at the half.
The turnovers continued to mount in the third quarter, as Tri-West (15-6) extended its lead to 55-21.
“Everyone has known that our Achilles heel has been getting the ball across half-court and with pressure,” Nuppnau said. “Once we can do that, we are fine. And that’s something we really need to work on and unfortunately we didn’t have a summer to work on that, but nobody else did too. It’s something we really need to work on, just making sure we can take care of the ball and control it.”
North Montgomery fought into the end though, as Madi Welch scored 10 of her game-high 15 points in the second half. Welch, along with Broadwater and Katie Rice, who both scored seven points, are all juniors who will return next year with fellow junior Lydia Dugard. The Chargers will lose three seniors in 2021 in Nina Gable, Grace McClaskey, and Makinze Rominger.
“We are excited for next year, but we are sad to see our six seniors leave us,” Nuppnau said. “We have three players and three managers, and I really don’t know what I’m going to do without my three managers. They’ve been awesome with Kyla King, Haley Burton, and Aubrey Birge. They do so much behind the scenes, they’re going to be hard to replace, and of course we are going to miss Grace, Mac, and Nina there on the court.”
The win gives Tri-West its first sectional title since 2014, and they will play Indian Creek at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Greencastle Regional. Grace Sandlin led the Bruins with 11 points, while Isabelle Saylor and Kenna Kirby added 10 apiece.
“I’m excited for them,” Nuppnau said. “I have great respect for their head coach Tom (Gliva) and the way they play. They’ve put in a lot of hard work these last 4-7 years. Sandlin, she’s the difference. When you have somebody who can handle the ball, who can stop on a dime, that can change directions and pass the ball almost like Magic Johnson. I’m excited to watch them and do well and hope they represent our sectional and our conference moving forward into regionals.”
Tri-West 65, North Montgomery 34
NM 3 11 7 13 — 34
TW 20 10 25 10 — 65
NORTH MONTGOMERY (5-14): Madi Welch 4 6-8 15, Hadley Broadwater 2 2-2 7, Nina Gable 0 0-0 0, Lydia Dugard 1 0-0 2, Grace McClaskey 0 0-0 0, Katie Rice 3 1-1 7, McKenzie Schroeder 1 1-3 3; Totals 12-34 10-14 34.
TRI-WEST (15-6): Emily Starnes 1 0-0 2, Grace Sandlin 4 3-3 11, Isabelle Saylor 5 0-0 10, Adriens Thompson 3 3-3 9, Izzy Cotteleer 2 0-0 4, Kyla Marvel 2 0-0 6, Makenna Brauman 3 0-0 6, Becca Van Slyke 2 0-1 4, Ava Sullivan 1 0-0 2, Kenna Kirby 5 0-0 10 Regan Canada 0 1-2 1; Totals 28-71 7-9 65.
3-Point Shooting: NM 2-3 (Broadwater, Welch), TW 2-21 (Marvel 2).
Rebounds: NM 36, TW 27
Turnovers: NM 43, TW 10