LINDEN — It came down to the last point scored, and that point belonged to West Lafayette in a 56-55 win over North Montgomery.
The Chargers, down nine at the midpoint of the fourth quarter, hit their last four 3-pointers and tied the game at 55 with 22 seconds left on a Jaron Bradford triple.
The Red Devils, who move to 8-7 with the win, worked the ball inside and after a collision, Will Lasater went to the free throw line.
The senior, at the line for the first time in the game, missed his first and made his second to give the visitors the one-point lead with 2.9 left.
The Chargers, who fall to 7-8, tried to get the ball inbounds, but another collision saw the ball fly away and North didn’t get a shot attempt.
“I’m so proud of the guys tonight,” North coach Chad Arnold said. “We were down (by nine) and came back. The guys competed so hard. West Lafayette is a tough team to guard.”
The Chargers plan was to slow the game down, and after a 14-2 run in the second quarter, North was leading 27-17.
“They (North) really executed their offense against our man defense,” WL coach David Wood said. “We hit a lull in our execution, and they took advantage of our lull. That team doesn’t quit. They are legitimately a good team. Coach Arnold has done a great job.”
The Chargers also kept the Red Devils at bay on the defensive end.
“We wanted to make them play in the half-court,” Arnold said. “We had Logan Kelly and Kade Kobel jamming the ball in the passing lanes. We kept them off the glass too.”
The Chargers finished with 24 boards, compared to Westside’s 25. Preston Shaw finished with seven.
Alex Wallace led the scoring for North with 15 points. He and Bradford combined for the four treys in the fourth-quarter run. Bradford ended the night with 13. For the game, North was 20-of-39 from the field and 7-of-11 from long range. They were 8-of-8 from the line, with all eight coming in the first half.
Yanni Karlaftis led all scorers as the junior finished with 27. He completed his double-double with a dozen rebounds. He was the go-to guy all night for the team in the red shirts.
“That kid has a motor,” Wood noted.
“We kept the final play out of his hands, which is what we needed to do,” Arnold said.
The Chargers had 18 turnovers, with many coming on attempts to get the ball inside. North forced 13 Westside turnovers.
“When you have a Coach Wood team, you know there will be a run coming,” Arnold said of the 26-year boss at West Lafayette, and who won his 353rd career game. “We played them hard. We’ve come a long way and we’ll get better.”
The Red Devils head to Culver Acadamy Friday and have Frankfort at home Saturday.
The Chargers have a Sagamore Conference girl-boy doubleheader Friday with Western Boone and go to Attica Saturday. The Stars defeated North 50-49 on a last-second shot in the Sugar Creek Classic.
Westside won the jv game 74-43.
North was led in scoring by Nolan Graham with 14 points.
WEST LAFAYETTE 56 NORTH MONTGOMERY 55
West Lafayette 13 12 13 18 — 56
North Montgomery 11 18 8 18 — 55
West Lafayette (8-7): Boyle 1-6 4-7 6, Lasater 0-2 1-2 1, Truitt 3-7 0-1 7, Martin 2-3 1-2 7, Karlaftis 12-17 3-7 27, Shrewsberry 3-6 0-0 8, Schott 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-41 9-19 56.
North Montgomery (7-8): Bradford 5-7 0-0 13, Kobel 1-2 4-4 7, Shaw 2-5 2-2 6, Wallace 6-12 0-0 15, Thompson 2-4 0-0 4, Carmean 2-3 2-2 6, Searle 0-2 0-0 0, Kelly 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 20-39 8-8 55.
3-PT FGs: WL 5-13 (Boyle 0-3, Shrewsberry 2-3, Lasater 0-1, Truitt 1-3, Martin 2-3); North 7-11 (Kelly 0-1, Bradford 3-4, Kobel 1-1, Wallace 3-5).
Rebounds: WL 25 (Karlaftis 12); North 24 (Shaw 7, Carmean 4).
Turnovers: WL 13; North 18.