Charger offense comes alive in win vs Sparkplugs


LINDEN ­— Feb. 14, 2020. That is the last time the North Montgomery boys basketball team accomplished what it did on Saturday afternoon when they hosted the Speedway Sparkplugs. North’s offense came alive for 68 points and the Chargers brought home a big 68-56 win to improve to 2-1 on the season. The most important stat in the win for the Chargers is they were able to seal the game at the free-throw line in the final eight minutes. North went 13-16 from the line in the final eight minutes and for the game went 18-26 (69%).

Every time the Sparkplugs (1-2) drew close, the Chargers had an answer. After battling back and forth for the first quarter and a half, a Colton Arnold made three gave the Chargers an 18-16 lead and they never trailed the rest of the way. The win was able to get the Chargers back on track after suffering a physical loss the night before to county rival Southmont. Less than 24 hours later thought, the Chargers proved they were more than ready to get back on the court.

“It was tough losing the other night to South, but we have a ton of  guys on this team who just care and are going to battle,” Charger coach Chad Arnold said. “We did a much better job of keeping our composure in this game. I was really proud of them for the way they bounced back.”

The afternoon belonged to the Charger duo of sharpshooting senior Jarrod Kirsch and junior Kelby Harwood. Kirsch buried five threes and ended with 21 points. Not to be out-done by his teammate, Harwood scored 24 points to lead all scorers and had a career night on the boards, grabbing 14 rebounds. He also missed a triple-double by just two assists with eight dimes, as the junior was a do-it-all player in the win. Both Colton Arnold and Noah Hopkins each scored eight in the win. Ross Dyson scored three with Cameron Enlow and Corbin Meadows each scoring two.

“Offensively, unlike the South game we were able to find our open shooters on the perimeter,” Arnold said. “We drove it and forced them to collapse and that freed up guys like Jarrod who had a great game. When our guys get shots in rhythm they showed what they were able to do. We also owned the paint and that’s an area where we have wanted to get better. Kelby is obviously a big part of what we do and so is Jarrod. We ask a lot of them and they know they have to perform for us. They both did a great job of finding our other guys too.”

Speedway was led in scoring by Landon Short’s 18 points. Brownsburg transfer Camren Reich scored 17 while Devin Robinson scored 12. Nate Matelic rounded out the scoring with seven for the Sparkplugs. For the game Speedway shot 20-54 (37%) from the field and just 6-24 (25%) from three. They made 8-14 (57%) of their free-throw attempts and grabbed 27 rebounds while turning it over 12 times.

Along with their strong performance from the free-throw line, the Chargers shot exactly 50% going 22-44 from the floor. They made exactly 50% of their threes as well going 6-12. They grabbed 33 rebounds and turned it over just 10 times.

“For Kelby to grab that many rebounds says a lot about his work ethic,” Arnold said. “We all know he can jump out of the gym and can really elevate. I’m glad to see him use his god given talent to the best of his ability. Along with him Hopkins is an animal down low, Corbin Meadows is growing and then Jarrod crashed the boards too and us crashing the boards is what we have to be successful.”

The Chargers will be back in action for their first road game of the season on Friday when they travel to take on the Seeger Patriots (1-1).