LINDEN – Every win is a good win.
But a Winter Homecoming, down by 10 points, come-from-behind, conference win is a great win.
North Montgomery got that great win with a 43-36 Sagamore Conference victory over Frankfort.
Trailing 18-8 after the first quarter, the Chargers held the Hot Dogs to 18 points for the last three quarters, going from a man-to-man defense to a box-and-one.
They found their shooting touch, took care of the ball and made it all smiles for Homecoming Royalty Derica Jeffers and Brent Runyan.
The win moves North to 8-11 on the season and 2-4 in the league, while Frankfort drops to 8-11 and 2-4 in the conference. second
“Everybody did a good job tonight,” Chargers coach Chad Arnold said. “The box-and-one defense slowed Frankfort way down when our man defense wasn’t working. The offense shared the ball really well, and our point guards did a really good job getting us into our offense. Every shooter hit at least one big shot, and the one guy who didn’t get a shot, Corbin Meadows, was huge off the bench. He is such a winner, and made some big plays in the game.”
It didn’t look too good after the Hot Dogs went 6-of-10 from the floor in the first quarter, hit two threes and all four free throws and led 18-8.
The box-and-one defense stopped the dribble-drive, and kept the ball away from the bigs, who were also cashing in at the line.
“We went to the box-and-one and then we started scoring,” Arnold said, noting the 7-0 start to the second quarter and the 11-4 total for the quarter, making it 22-19 at the break.
North tied the game with the first bucket of the third, but the visitors then scored seven of their own.
The Chargers got it back to 33-30 at the end of the quarter, and took over in the final eight minutes.
Cameron Enlow’s only field goal of the game gave the home team their first lead at 35-33 with 5:23 left, and from there, it was 8-3 Chargers.
“Our guys were tough with the ball,” Arnold said. “Frankfort got us hurried offensively in the first quarter, and we did a good job of working for better shots after that.”
The offense did take care of the ball, as they had only nine turnovers in the game, one in the last quarter. The Hot Dogs only got six points off the turnovers.
The defense turned the visitors over a dozen times, and scored one point per turnover.
Kelby Harwood led the way for North, as the junior was team-best with 11 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocked shots.
“We were upset at halftime,” Harwood said. “Nothing was falling, and we weren’t playing together. It’s Winter Homecoming and we knew we needed to play with more heart, with more intensity. Our defense came through, our offense found some shots, and we played as one. It was great to see so many guys hit big shots, and we showed what we can do as a team.”
For the game, North was 15-of-38 from the field, 7-of-18 from long range and 6-of-10 from the line. Jarrod Kirsch added nine points, four boards, three assists and a steal, and Noah Hopkins had seven points.
The Hot Dogs were led in scoring by Kye Kirby with 13 points, and Alex Farly with 12. Farley, Frankfort’s leading scorer at 14.5, was limited to one field goal on only four shots in the half.
Frankfort was 12-of-41 from the floor, but 6-of-their-last 31. They were 3-of-17 from long range, but 1-of-their lasts 14. They were 9-of-10 from the line. The Hot Dogs won the rebound battle 35-32. Farley had five to lead his team.
The Hot Dogs are back in action on Feb. 10 with a trip to McCutcheon and they are home to Southmont on Feb. 16.
The Chargers are back in action on the 10th with a trip to Clinton Central and they are at Tri-West on the 16th.
Frankfort won the jv game 62-49.