FRANKFORT – The facial expressions showed all business for the North Montgomery girls basketball team Wednesday evening.
The Chargers got down to business early, especially defensively and rolled to a 45-21 win over North Newton in the Indiana Kitchen Holiday Classic at Frankfort High School’s Case Arena.
Chargers coach Ryan Nuppnau was proud of his team.
“For the second game in a row they embraced the defensive assignments, they executed them and it showed,” Nuppnau said. “We won that game on the defensive end.”
Nothing showed that more than the job the Chargers did on the Spartans’ double-double ace Makenna Schleman. Defensive effort from behind by sophomore Piper Ramey and drop down help on both sides of the lane kept Schleman 15 points under her average. She managed just a free throw seconds before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Schleman picked up her third foul just 15 seconds into the second quarter and rode the bench the rest of the half. Senior Lexi Cunningham then drew Ramey, who came alive offensively.
“I called a timeout and told the girls, hey, their best player is out and we got to put the throttle down. The girls really responded to that.”
The Chargers (3-12) led 13-7 at the end of one with four different players scoring. North Newton (3-13) went five-plus minutes of the first quarter without points and only tallied one bucket by senior Madelyn Arrenholz in the second frame.
Meanwhile Nuppnau’s squad, led by Ramey, senior Jadelyn Phillips and Krestyn Bradford upped the lead to 26-9 at the half.
“We’re starting to get some girls that are willing to shoot and have enough confidence in their shot. That made a big difference knocking down some outside shots.”
Several baskets were putbacks as the Chargers controlled the boards for the game 36-23 with 15-2 offensive rebound advantage.
“That was a big emphasis for us. We knew in that 2-3 zone they didn’t block out very well. On their offensive end we couldn’t give them anything easy or let them on the offensive glass.”
Also, with Schleman out, North Newton switched to full court pressure and man-to-man defense.
“We really weren’t expecting it because historically they are all 2-3 zone. (Schleman) goes out with three fouls and that was a good move on their part to go man. We tried to run some things, but the pressure is kind of our Achilles heel. I was pleased to see the girls after a couple possessions settled down.”
North held serve in the second half, outscoring North Newton 19-12 and was able to clear their bench in the fourth quarter.
Ramey finished with a game high 13 points to go with five rebounds and sat most of the fourth quarter with the game in hand. Bradford had 10 and Phillips added eight.
Freshman Macee Norman led rebounding with six.
The margin of victory was by far the most all season.
he Chargers get very little rest before hitting Case Arena at 11 a.m. today for the fifth place game against Winamac. North Newton plays Frankfort for seventh place.
Nuppnau looks for a repeat performance.
“We did exactly what we wanted to do and that’s the encouraging part right there.”
NORTH MONTGOMERY 45, NORTH NEWTON 21
Score by Quarter
NM 13 13 15 4 - 45
NN 7 2 5 7 - 21
North Montgomery (3-12): FG-FGA FT-FTA PTS: Ella McManomy 0-1 0-0 0 Piper
Ramey 6-9 1-4 13 Maely Gaskin 1-4 0-2 3 Macee Norman 2-5 0-2 4 Claire Grimes 0-0
0-0 0 Blair Nichols 1-2 2-4 4 Jaydelyn Phillips 3-4 2-2 8 Ash Koons 0-2 0-0 0 Krestyn
Bradford 3-10 2-4 10 Madison Banta 1-3 0-0 3; Totals 17-40 7-18 45
North Newton (3-13): Ava Ivey 0-0 0-0 0 June Busboom 1-7 3-4 5 Lexi Cunningham 0-3
0-0 0 Cheyann Cahill 1-3 3-6 5 Makenna Schleman 0-3 1-2 1 Piper Ivey 0-0 0-0 0
Dakota Dyer 0-0 0-0 0 Maria Oliver-Barrio 0-2 1-2 1 Madelyn Arrenholz 2-4 2-2 6 Taylor
Mattull 1-2 0-0 3; Totals 5-24 10-16 21
3-Point Shooting: NM 4-12 (Bradford 2-6, Gaskin 1-2, Banta 1-2), NN 1-5 (Mattull 1-1)
Rebounding: NM 36 (Norman 6, Ramey 5, Banta 5, Gaskin 4, Bradford 4), NN 23
(Schleman 6, Cunningham 4)
Turnovers: NM 16, NN 23