LINDEN — Coming off a disappointing loss in the Kitchen Classic Championship game to Delphi on Dec. 23, North Montgomery girls basketball wanted to get back on the winning track to begin 2022. The Chargers hosted North Putnam Tuesday looking to do just that. In what North Montgomery coach Ryan Nuppnau called ‘their most complete game of the year’, the Chargers picked up a convincing 59-43 win over the Cougars to improve to 10-6 (2-1 SAC) on the season.
The Cougars and Chargers battled back and forth in the opening quarter and it was North Putnam who held a 14-12 lead. North Montgomery, after being down 20-15, would then go on a 11-0 run late in the second quarter and would take a 26-22 lead into the locker room. Another late Charger run in the late third period saw them extend their lead to 38-30 after three. A dominating 21 point final quarter would put the bow on the Charger victory.
“North Putnam is a very good team and are extremely senior led,” Nuppnau said of the Cougars. “They play right into our weakness typically with their full-court pressure, but tonight it didn’t phase us one bit. I’m very proud of our girls because it truly was a complete team effort.”
Senior Katie Rice turned in one of best games of the season for the Chargers. She led all scorers with 25 points and dominated the glass all night long en route to a 22 rebound performance. The Chargers as a team secured 50 rebounds in the win. Hadley Broadwater also ended in double figures with 11 for the Chargers. Lydia Dugard scored nine while Madi Welch scored eight. Kaydence Young, Jadelyn Phillips, and Piper Ramey all each scores two for the Chargers.
The Cougars rough stretch continues as they drop their seventh straight game and fall to 8-8 on the season. North Putnam coach Lukas Haworth credited the Chargers for handling his teams full-court pressure.
“When you play a team like North Montgomery, you’re going to have to hope to force some turnovers and get some easy shots,” Haworth said. “Because if they do break the pressure like they did tonight, they are going to throw it down low and that led to everything else happening for them. They have a lot of size and for us it was hard to play against that on offense. It ended being a catch 22 for us because they broke our press, but had to continue to press because we were behind and needed some stops. You have to give them (North Montgomery) a lot of credit tonight.”
Kyla Willis led the Cougars with 14 points in the loss. Annabelle Gross recorded eight points while both Samie Hoops and Marin Davies each had seven.
Rice continues to show what a force she can be and Nuppnau talked about his star’s play while also giving credit to another person who ran the show for the Chargers on Tuesday.
“I thought Madi Welch got the ball where it needed to be tonight. She was our quarterback tonight and handled the pressure very well,” Nuppnau said. “When your able to break that pressure time after time that demoralizes a team a little bit. Also everyone who stepped on the floor tonight scored which was huge for us.”
“She’s (Katie Rice) our bedrock that we lean on,” Nuppnau continued about Rice. “When she’s able to score 25 points, that allows the other girls to relax a little bit. She’s a very special player overall and understands the game really well and can also knock down the outside shot which is good for a big.”
Haworth while his team is still in search of its first win since Nov. 30 has seen plenty of positives with his team despite the wins not being there. He knows it’s only a matter of time before things begin to click once again.
“At the end of the day we just have a really rough stretch in December,” he said. “It’s hard to battle out of a skid like we’re on but the girls are continuing to play so hard. We haven’t shot it particularly well and we can do everything right, but it comes down to making shots. We’re going to have a night where everything clicks and get back in the win column. Winning solves everything so when that happens it’ll feel like this stretch never happened.”
The Cougars will be back in action on Friday night for matchup with West Vigo.
The Chargers meanwhile will battle county rival Southmont on Thursday and with a win will secure the county title.
North Montgomery 59, North Putnam 43
Score By Quarter
NM 12 14 12 21 - 59
NP 14 8 8 13 - 43
North Montgomery (10-6, 2-1 SAC)
FG-FGA FT-FTA PTS: Madi Welch 3-7 2-3 8, Hadley Broadwater 5-8 1-2 11, Kaydence Young 1-2 0-0 2, Jadelyn Phillips 1-4 0-0 2, Katie Rice 9-17 7-7 25, Lydia Dugard 3-5 2-6 9, Piper Ramey 1-4 0-0 2; Totals 23-49 13-18 59
North Putnam (8-8)
Samie Hoops 2-6 1-2 7, Marin Davies 2-8 3-3 7, Ashley Weir 2-5 0-1 5, Camryn Wolf 0-5 0-0 0, Kyndal Brewer 0-5 0-0 0, Kyla Willis 5-14 2-3 14, Lexi Daigle 0-2 2-2 2, Annabelle Gross 3-14 0-0 8; Totals 14-57 8-11 43
3-Point Shooting: North Montgomery 0-4, North Putnam 7-29 (Hoops 2, Willis 2, Gross 2, Weir)
Rebounds: North Montgomery 50 (Rice 22, Ramey 11, Dugard 7), North Putnam 18
Turnovers: North Montgomery 16, North Putnam 7