County Girls Basketball

Charger defense leads to county win


Crawfordsville High School was the place to be in Montgomery county on Friday night. The North Montgomery Chargers and the Crawfordsville Athenians re-kindled the county rivalry in a girl/boy double-header. The girls got things going and after an even first quarter which saw the teams even at 11-11, the Chargers pulled away for a 36-21 win to get the night started well for the Charger fans. In the boys game Crawfordsville used a hot shooting first quarter to build a lead and time after time hold the Chargers at bay when they got close. The Athenian boys had a strong final quarter to pull away from the Chargers 46-31.

North Montgomery girls held Crawfordsville to quarters of zero and two points in the second and fourth quarters respectively and that was the difference as the Chargers picked up their second win over their county rival this season. A 7-0 second period saw the visitors take an 18-11 lead into the locker room and then 13 more second quarter points had North with it’s largest lead of the game at 31-19 after three. Another strong defensive quarter allowed the Chargers to cruise to the win.

“Our girls came ready to play out of the gate,” Charger coach Ryan Nuppnau said of the win. “We knew it was going to be a dog fight coming in and they (Crawfordsville) came out more hungry than us in the beginning but our girls settled down and didn’t panic. We know what we can do and we hold them to 10 points the rest of the way after giving up 11 in the first. Our defense did a really good job and prevented them from getting any second chance opportunities.”

Crawfordsville (0-13, 0-4 SAC) most of the season has played well in spurts but just hasn’t been able to put a full 32-minutes together. The opening quarter was another indication that Cville can play well, it just needs to be sustained for a full game.

“The first time we played them we knew we let one slip away so our girls came in and were fired up,” Cville coach Joe Ferguson said. “You saw the urgency out of them which was great to see. I will say having a couple of key players out (Taylor Abston and Celeste Moore) hurts. It’s tough to find the right rotations when you’re throwing new girls into the mix. We had about six girls in the mix and depth became an issue as the game wore on.”

Piper Ramey, as everytime she steps on the floor, will draw the attention of opponents. Ramey didn’t get much going until the final quarter as it was the rest of the Chargers who carried the load. Macee Norman led all scorers with 14 points in the Charger win while Blair Nichols hit a pair of threes, and Caelyn Carpenter also helped anchor the scoring. North as a team made four threes in the win as of late the Chargers are beginning to become more confident as a team and from behind the arc.

“It’s something that we’ve been emphasizing  from day one is that we can’t rely just on one or two girls,” Nuppnau said. “We have girls who can put the ball in the hoop, they just need a little more confidence. We’ve told them they need to have their hands and feet ready to catch and shoot and it’s something we emphasized in practice all week. They double and tripled team us in the post and our shooters were ready tonight.”

Ferguson added how during the week, he did want to stop Ramey and that be a major emphasis, however his team over-prepared to stop just one player and weren’t too often were just a few seconds too late about getting out to the Charger shooters.

“Before the game I reminded them that we need to take Piper away,” Ferguson said. “I think it was a miscommunication on everyone’s part because we all felt like we had to crash the pain when she got the ball. I’ll give North a ton of credit for knocking those shots down when we over-committed.”

North Montgomery improves to 6-7 (2-1 SAC) with the win. Crawfordsville is off for the holiday break and will be back in action in 2024 on January 2 when they host the Sheridan Blackhawks. The Chargers on the other hand will be busy next week competing in the Delphi Kitchen Classic. Monday they’ll host Rossville in the opening round before traveling to Delphi for the remainder of the tournament.