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Basketball Preview

Chargers welcome Danville Friday night for SAC tilt

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While Crawfordsville’s boys’ basketball team has a rare Friday night off, and Fountain Central and Southmont will play pair of girl/boy non-conference doubleheaders, the North Montgomery basketball teams will welcome Sagamore Conference foe and power Danville to Charger Gym on Friday night.

In the girls’ game, the Chargers will look to knock off the three-time defending league champs for the first time since 2013.

The Warriors enter the SAC match-up with a 13-5 overall record, and 5-0 record in the league, while North Montgomery is 9-9 and 2-2 in the SAC.

In the boy’s contest, the Chargers will face the first of many tough opponents to come left on the schedule.

“We have some really good teams ahead of us,” first-year coach Chad Arnold said. “When you play 3A basketball every team on your schedule is usually pretty solid. Danville is an excellent basketball team with a really good coach. They are 11-2 and their only losses are against Plainfield which is a 4A school. We are approaching this stretch with the same mindset one game at a time.”

Danville enters 11-2 on the season and 2-0 in the SAC. The Warriors are ranked No. 4 in Class 3A and owns seven-straight wins over the Chargers.

Dillon Ware leads the Warriors with 17.4 points per game, while Kobe Ward adds 14.8. Jaron Bradford leads the Chargers with 13 points per contest.

North Montgomery is 7-5 overall and 0-2 in the SAC, but have won four of their last five, despite a last-second loss to Western Boone last Friday.

“Obviously, it was a tough loss on Friday vs. Western Boone but the guys did a great job bouncing back from that loss,” Arnold said. “I think they learned the importance of playing hard. I was really proud of how we took care of the basketball and rebounded in the game vs. Southmont. Hopefully, we can build on that going forward.”

Mounties travel to Seeger

Both Southmont basketball teams will be in action at Seeger (Williamsport) on Friday night.

The Mountie girls squad is 9-7 on the season and winners of three-straight heading into tonight’s matchup with Attica, but will face a 15-2 Patriot team that is only allowing 26.6 points per game.

The Mountie boys’ (2-8) will look to end a two-game skid, while Seeger (6-6) enters on a two-game win streak.

“At this point in the season, we have to focus and treat every game like it is a championship game, because every game matters,” Southmont coach Jake Turner said. “We are working on developing our mental and physical toughness.”

Southmont will complete the double-weekend with a 5-7 Riverton Parke team on Saturday.

“Seeger and Riverton Parke are both solid, capable teams,” Turner added. “But at this point, we have to focus on ourselves and improving and fixing some of our correctable mistakes.”

Khal Stephen leads the Patriots in scoring with 13.9 points per game, but has been out due to an injury since before Christmas. Freshman Owen Snedeker adds 13.1 points a night. Brandon Hazzard leads the Panthers with 9.8 points per game.

Turner is hoping the Mounties can learn from an 0-2 Sugar Creek Classic last weekend, with a pair of key non-conference games this weekend.

“The Classic definitely didn’t go the way we hoped or wanted it to go, but it was a good wake up call,” he said. “We talk about it all of the time, but you play the way you practice. Our practices over break were inconsistent and that reflected out on the floor. We are simply turning the ball over too much and our shot selection is inconsistent. We can’t keep wasting possessions and expect to beat good teams. Luckily, I think a lot of our errors are correctable, but we at some point, we have to correct them.”

Mustangs host Spartans

The Fountain Central boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will host North Newton on Friday.

North Newton’s girls’ squad enters at 8-7 on the season, and led in scoring by Jamie Will and Mackendzie Dresbaugh’s nine points per game apiece.

Dakota Borman’s 14.4 points per game leads the 4-14 Mustangs, who have won just one game since Dec. 20 in seven tries.

The Mustang boys are 6-7, and looking to knock off a 2-7 Spartans team they defeated 69-54 last season.

“North Newton is much improved and has won two games in a row,” Fountain Central coach Phil Shabi said. “They are aggressive in their full court pressure, so taking care of the ball is going to be the first step to success.”

Fountain Central is getting healthy, and turning the corner after a 53-45 win over Sheridan on Saturday.

“We are finally healthy and got over a big obstacle this weekend against Sheridan,” Shabi said. “We have been playing well, but have been unable to finish strong down the stretch. Coming from down seven in the 3rd quarter and then being able to finish the 4th quarter and pull away was a big confidence boost.”

Braden Merriman leads the Spartans with 15.3 points per game, while Andrew Shabi and Carson Eberly are both in double-figures for the Mustangs.

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