SPEEDWAY — North Montgomery was bombarded with hot-shooting from the host Speedway and from absent varsity players Tuesday. The Sparkplugs defeated the Chargers 75-35 in a game that was never close.
Speedway (1-0) unloaded from behind the arch early and often. In the opening quarter the Sparkplugs hit 7-of-9 on 3-point attempts led by DePauw University recruit Drew Valentine. The sharpshooter hit all five of his long-range attempts giving him 15 points in just the first period. The guard finished with game-high honors of 21 points.
Speedway led 28-6 after the first quarter and the score never got closer.
Absent varsity players for North Montgomery (0-1) included one under concussion protocol and three players in Covid-19 quarantine. A fifth player, freshman starter Kerbe Cotrell, ended up in the locker room during pre-game warm up and the entire first half due to an upset stomach. He did start feeling better and was able to enter the game in the third period.
“Not having some guys hurt us,” Charger coach Chad Arnold said. “But regardless, (Speedway) is a good team and probably would have beaten us tonight if we had everybody.”
As the game progressed, the Sparkplug lead continued to grow. Five Speedway players scored in double-figures.
“Speedway has some players and they space you out,” Arnold said. “We are not good on defense yet and we know it is going to take time. We will get better.”
Charger senior Kolton Scrimager was a bright spot for North Montgomery. The forward recorded a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Speedway did cool off in the second half and finished the game 49 percent (29-59) from the field. North Montgomery shot 33 percent (13-36) from the field and only hit 7-of-20 (35 percent) free throws.
Arnold said after the game that his squad has plenty to work on. He was most concerned about the effort on defense he saw from the team. He said the youthfulness of his team was a major contributor to his team’s performance. At one point in the second half the Chargers were playing three freshmen, and sophomore and a senior.
“We just have to get better,” Arnold said. “We have to keep working. We did do some good things, but we have a lot to work on before we play Southmont next Friday.”
North Montgomery travels to Southmont Friday and will entertain Fountain Central on Saturday. Speedway will host Bee