LINDEN — North Montgomery was unable to hold on to a fourth quarter lead, suffering its 10th-straight loss on Tuesday night, falling to Greencastle 33-27.
The Chargers led 23-21 heading into the final period, but the Tiger Cubs caught fire in the final eight minutes, outscoring North Montgomery 12-4.
Katie Rice returned to the starting lineup for the Chargers (2-9) after missing the past seven games. The junior made her impact felt, leading the team with 10 points in the loss.
“It felt nice to have her back tonight,” North Montgomery coach Ryan Nuppnau said. “You can tell she was trying to get her legs back and was a little out of shape, but she doesn’t let anything stop her. Her tenacity and her resiliency I think spreads to the other girls when she’s out there.”
The senior duo of Kennedy Trigg and Sydney Doan combined to score 28 of the 33 Tiger Cubs (7-8) points in the win. Doan had 11 of her 12 points in the first half, then Trigg took over the bulk of the scoring down the stretch scoring 11 of her game-high 16 points in the second half.
“They play so well together and have been playing sports together for a long time,” Greencastle coach Kellie Kirkhoff said. “It’s been really cool to see how they have blossomed individually and together. They’re our senior leaders and we’re very fortunate to half both of them.”
With the Chargers playing both McKenzie Schroeder and Rice on the floor, the Tiger Cubs defense had to find a way to adjust on the defensive end. Kirkhoff decided to have her defenders play in front of both Schroeder and Rice which caused the Chargers to force passes inside and turn the ball over.
“It was definitely a point of emphasis at half-time to play them that way,” Kirkhoff said. “They made us look a little out of place in the first half, but we came out and played with a bit more intensity and started to play some zone in the last few minutes which I also think helped us down the stretch.”
“They did a good job of doubling our bigs and taking that away from us tonight,” Nuppnau said. “When we’re not shooting it well from the outside, it allows to sag in like they did. One thing we have to work on to avoid that is being more confident in our shot. I think a few of girls shied away that and we need to remind them to have that confidence in themselves.”
One thing that did stand out for Nuppnau in the loss was that his team got to experience playing in a close, competitive game which is something the team hasn’t seen a lot of this season. The Chargers last game which was decided by 10 points or less points came back on Dec. 3 against Covington.
“We haven’t been in a game like this in a long time,” he said. “I think it’s one of those things where you get to a competitive game, but you just haven’t been in that situation many times to know how to close the game. I think that will come with time and patience. Our girls continue to never back down from a challenge or give up.”
The Charges will travel to Danville for a conference matchup with the Warriors on Friday.