LAFAYETTE — A pair of Madi Welch free-throws cut the Faith Christian lead to just one on Tuesday night. But that’s as close as the Chargers would get as they fell 43-36 to the Eagles.
The Chargers had multiple chances to take the lead but a few defensive miscues allowed the Eagles to seal the win. The Chargers trailed by as many as 11 and by nine entering the final quarter.
“The girls fought back well in that final quarter,” Coach Ryan Nuppnau said. “We missed some chances late on an in-bounds play and they also had a few and-ones that hurt us. Faith Christian showed up to play tonight and we didn’t. They wanted it more than we did, they hustled more, got more offensive rebounds and hats off to them for playing a great game.”
The Chargers (2-4) did get some players back as both Grace McClaskey and Nina Gable wreturned. However they were still without two of their bigs in junior Katie Rice and sophomore McKenzie Schroeder. Despite being without both of those players, Nuppnau still said that’s no excuse for his team.
“We are missing both of those girls, but that’s still no excuse to be in the wrong defensive spot or not box out,” he said. “No matter who you are you have to do both of those things. If we do both of those things then we win the game. Right now we’re not stepping up to the level we need to in order to win.”
The Eagles full-court pressure defense and 2-3 zone did give the Chargers fits for most of the night as they forced 30 North Montgomery turnovers.
“They have great length and when you don’t shoot from the outside that zone can slow you down like it did with us tonight,” Nuppnau said. “We were 0-8 from three tonight and we just simply have to make some of those shots in order to stretch them out.”
Sydney Argo led the Eagles with 14 points and Abbey Bolt added in 12.
Welch led all scorers in the game with 16 points and was key for the Chargers as they were making their comeback in the fourth quarter. Welch scored 10 of her 16 points from the free-throw line and also grabbed seven rebounds.
“I was really proud of the way she played,” Nuppnau said. “She has took over for us these last few games and tonight you an see that she wanted the ball in her hands. She got to the free-throw line a ton which allowed our girls to take a breather which is huge when we aren’t playing that many players. This is a type of game that I think she can play on a consistent basis.”
The Chargers will be back home on Thursday for their senior night as they host Covington.