Girls Basketball

Charger rally falls just short at Lebanon

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LEBANON – A comeback for the ages fell just short for North Montgomery’s girls’ basketball team in a 44-40 Sagamore Conference loss at Lebanon on Tuesday.

Trailing 38-24 after three quarters, the Chargers (11-9, 3-3) outscored the Tigers (10-12, 4-2) 14-2 to make it 40-38 Lebanon in the final two minutes, but a flurry of North Montgomery turnovers and a runout basket by Lebanon’s Alexis Wines iced it for the Tigers.

The total scoring run was 18-2 in favor of the Chargers as they trailed 38-20 late in the third quarter. It was a change in mindset though that clicked for North Montgomery – not a difference in game plan.

“It was just a matter of the girls realizing, and believing in themselves,” North Montgomery coach Ryan Nuppnau said. “I think a lot of people are just going to write us off because we are missing our leading scorer in Katie Rice, but I think the girls realized after halftime that we are still good and can still do this. At halftime we really talked about and reminded the girls that ‘we can play with Lebanon. We can play with the best of the best.’”

The difference on the floor in the second half proved to be in the paint. Piper Ramey scored a career-high 19 points, including 15 in the second half. The freshman was finishing on both sides of the bucket, taking every pass from her teammates to the hoop with a purpose.

“Piper has come a long way and she’s starting to understand the game a little bit more,” Nuppnau said. “She already had great basketball IQ to begin with. She used to be a guard and now she’s in the post and that’s a whole different world. She really stepped it up. Having that presence down low and making some nice moves, just opens things up for the guards and takes a lot of pressure off Madi Welch and the other girls.”

North Montgomery’s defense, led by senior Madi Welch, also stepped up over the final 16 minutes. Running a box and one, Welch chased newly minted 1,000-point scorer Wines all over the floor – holding the Tigers’ lone senior to just six points in the second half and 14 for the game.

In total, North Montgomery held Lebanon to just a 27% shooting night (16-of-59). The Chargers though managed just 30 field goal attempts, making 14 (47%) as they committed 22 turnovers. North Montgomery held its own on the boards as they held a 31-30 advantage.

Alexandria Barr added 10 for the Tigers, while Lydia Dugard chipped in five for the Chargers. Kaydence Young, Jadelynn Phillips, Hadley Broadwater, and Welch each scored four for North Montgomery.

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