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Chargers fall to top ranked Indians in sectional opener

OXFORD – The hugs were given. Tears flowed.

The reality of the end of three North Montgomery girls basketball seniors’ careers set in during the final seconds of North’s 76-23 Sectional 22 first round loss to Class 3A No. 1 Twin Lakes Tuesday evening at Benton Central.

Experience versus inexperience. Shock and awe. Something to build on for next year.

All those phrases were prevalent for coach Ryan Nuppnau’s team.

“We were just outmatched in every position, both physically and basketball-wise,” Nuppnau said. “The girls did what they could and I’m proud of them for that.”

The top-ranked Indians (24-0) jumped to an 11-0 advantage before Madison Banta hit a three with 3:27 left in the first quarter.

“There’s a reason they’re definitely number one. They’ve got three guards that can handle the ball very well, run, see the court and shoot.”

Twin Lakes built leads of 24-5 after the first and 49-8 at the half. The second half featured a running clock.

The Indians shot 59.5 percent from the field, hitting 25-of-42. The experience and ball handling showed as there were 20 assists on the 25 field goals.

North shot 7-of-22, but Nuppnau saw some positives.

“Once we got in the half court we did some nice things offensively. They decided to put on a little press. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to fluster us. They went to a high 3-2 zone taking away our ball handler.”

Effort certainly was not an issue as the Chargers dug hard on both ends of the floor and, despite 31 turnovers, still had hands near the ball and in passing lanes.

“Can’t fault that at all. Just a little slow in certain situations. Something to build on for next year.”

Sophomore Piper Ramey again led North with 10 points and eight rebounds. She hit five of her seven shots. Macee Norman added seven points.

The one-two offensive punch of Olivia Nickerson and Addison Bowsman, daughter of Indians coach Brad Bowsman, topped the charts with 22 and 21 points respectively. Evelyn Scharer led the winners with six boards. Bowsman added 10 assists.

Nine other Chargers will be back next season, including three starters. None of those are juniors this year.

“They got the shock and awe out of their system. It’s not normal for a bunch of freshmen and sophomores to play against the number one team. That’s the most important thing is what it feels like to be the end of the season now and do what it takes to keep the season going next year.”

Nuppnau’s squad ends the season at 3-21. Banta, Jadelyn Phillps and Maely Gaskin made it through the hug gauntlet of the Lady Chargers bench as they sat for the final time.

“These girls really stuck it out for the long haul. They were a joy to be around. They understood their roles this season and what we needed out of them. That’s special.”


Score By Quarter

NM 5 3 6 9 - 23

TL 24 25 17 10 - 76

North Montgomery (3-21): FG-FGA FT-FTA PTS: Ella McManomy 0-0 0-0 0 Piper Ramey 5-7 0-3 10 Maely Gaskin 0-1 0-0 0 Macee Norman 0-3 7-11 7 Emma Pyle 0-0 0-0 0 Blair Nichols 1-4 1-2 3 Jaydelyn Phillips 0-1 0-0 0 Ash Koons 0-0 0-0 0 Jazmen Newlin 0-0 0-0 0 Krestyn Bradford 0-1 0-0 0 Madison Banta 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 7-22 8-16 23.

Twin Lakes (24-0): Taylor Oliver 3-3 0-0 6 Addie Bowsman 6-8 6-8 21 Emma Need 1-4 0-0 2 Hannah Hodgen 2-3 0-0 4 Olivia Nickerson 8-13 5-6 22 Ava Kaufmann 0-0 2-2 2 Evelyn Scharer 1-3 1-2 3 Jasmine West 1-2 0-1 2 Addi Ward 2-5 7-9 12 Cydney Wert 0-0 0-0 0 Kora Pass 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 25-42 21-27 76

3-Point Shooting: North Montgomery 1-8 (Banta 1-4), Twin Lakes 5-13 (Bowsman 3-4)

Rebounding: North Montgomery 21 (Ramey 8, Norman 3), Twin Lakes 25 (Scharer 6, Hodgen 3)

Turnovers: North Montgomery 31, Twin Lakes 7

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