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Cougars pull away from Chargers

LINDEN — North Putnam used a 10-0 run to end the third quarter to get a road win at North Montgomery 52-42 on Tuesday night.

Trailing 29-27 at the 3:26 mark in the third period, the Cougars scored 10-straight, including back-to-back 3-pointers from Kaden Helderman and Brayden Monnett to take a 37-29 lead into the fourth.

“It kind of turned into an ugly game so to speak, but our guys, I feel like a lot of times they excel in those moments of scrappiness,” North Putnam coach Vince Brooks said.

The Chargers had put together a strong defensive performance and limited turnovers until the pivotal point in the third quarter.

“I thought the game plan, we did a pretty good job executing, we just struggled to score the ball,” North Montgomery coach Chad Arnold said. “Tonight’s defense was good enough. But we did turn the ball over a lot in the second half, but I’m proud of the guys’ effort. They played hard.”

North Montgomery committed seven second half turnovers, including four during the Cougars’ third quarter scoring spree.

Scoring the ball continued to be an uphill battle for the Chargers (5-17) in the loss. North Montgomery had a near five-minute scoring drought in the first quarter, a two-minute skid in the second period, and went the final 3:27 of the third without any points.

It was another night of defense keeping North Montgomery in the game by keeping the Cougars (14-9) guessing.

“I thought North Montgomery did some unique and different things defensively,” Brooks said. “I think it was challenging at times to know how we wanted to try and score. I thought they did a great job of defending and making it tough.”

North Montgomery held North Putnam to an 8-of-18 effort shooting in the first half, and offensively shot 10-of-19 over the first 16 minutes, behind a combined perfect 6-of-6 mark in the paint in the second quarter from Noah Hopkins and Drew Norman.

“I would have even liked to get the ball inside more than that,” Arnold said. “They switch everything, so you have to make them pay when they switch you.”

Hopkins scored eight off the bench, while Norman added eight, as did Jarrod Kirsch. Kelby Harwood led North Montgomery with 10.

North Montgomery made runs in the fourth quarter, but never got closer than four at 46-42 with 36 seconds left. North Putnam, who shot 13-of-19 from the line for the game, hit 7-of-11 from the stripe in the final period.

“Free throws have been kind of our nemesis,” Brooks said. “We’ve been better the second half of the season, but it’s something we are trying to get better at all the time.”

North Putnam has won 10 of its last 11, and opens up sectional play against Southmont next week. North Montgomery has lost five in a row and 13 of its last 14, and concludes the regular season at Greencastle on Friday.


Score By Quarter

NP 12 10 15 15 — 52

NM 9 13 7 13 — 42

NORTH PUTNAM (14-9): Brayden Monnett 3-9 0-2 8. Kaden Helderman 1-3 4-4 7, Matt Farrington 1-4 1-2 4, Brady Barber 1-2 3-5 5, Isaac Pickel 0-0 0-0 0, Nolan Hackleman 5-9 3-3 14, Jaylen Windmiller 6-8 2-3 14; Totals 17-35 13-19 52.

NORTH MONTGOMERY (5-17): Gabe Shirar 0-0 0-0 0, Jarrod Kirsch 3-10 0-0 8, Colton Zachary 2-5 0-0 6, Ross Dyson 1-5 0-0 2, Kelby Harwood 4-10 2-4 10, Drew Norman 3-6 2-2 8, Nate McCoy 0-0 0-0 0, Noah Hopkins 3-3 2-2 8; Totals 16-39 6-8 42.

3-Point Shooting: NP 5-14 (Monnett 2, Helderman, Farrington, Hackleman), NM 4-16 (Kirsch 2, Zachary 2).

Rebounds: NP 24, NM 20

Turnovers: NP 8, NM 9

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