LINDEN — North Montgomery turned it up into another gear in the second half of its season opener on Tuesday night, cruising to a 35-23 win over Frontier in girls basketball.
Trailing 13-10 early in the third period, the Chargers (1-0) went on a 12-2 to run to close the quarter and led 22-15 after three quarters.
Lydia Dugard scored a putback and Grace McClaskey drained a 3-pointer, while Katie Rice scored four of her team-high 13 points in the quarter. North Montgomery put the icing on the cake with a 7-of-10 mark from the free throw line in the final period.
“I’m just excited with how well they responded in the second half,” Chargers coach Ryan Nuppnau said. “Good to see them respond in the second half and seem them play like they are fully capable of playing so that was good to see.”
Rice led the Chargers with a double-double, adding 11 rebounds to her 13 points. North Montgomery hauled down 42 rebounds, including nine from McKenzie Schroeder. The Chargers played just six players, and used Rice and Schroeder as a 1-2 combo in the post for the first time.
“They’re used to playing big by themselves,” Nuppnau said. “Now trying to get an idea on how to play with two bigs and quite frankly how to coach with two bigs and try to figure out what works best for them.”
The Chargers will add Makinze Rominger, who was unavailable on Tuesday, as a third piece in the middle down the road.
Frontier pressured North Montgomery into 15 first half turnovers with a full-court press, but the Chargers outscored the Falcons (0-1) 25-13 in the second half after a 10-10 tie at the half.
“Their full-court press hurt us a little bit,” Nuppnau added. “We are kind of big-oriented right now. They did a good job of keeping us off balance, but once we were able to get it across half-court and go against their 1-3-1 we were finally able to figure some things out.”
McClaskey and Madi Welch added eight points apiece for the Chargers.
North Montgomery is back on the court on Thursday at home against Parke Heritage.
Mustangs fall to Eagles
The Fountain Central girls’ basketball team dropped its season opener 51-43 to Faith Christian on Tuesday.