Here we are just starting the second week of the boys’ high school basketball season and it’s already time for one of the biggest games of the year. Yep it’s North vs. South week.
Friday night’s game at North Montgomery will mark the 85th meeting between the two county rivals. The 85 meetings are the most against any single opponents for both schools. This will mark the 46th time the two rivals have played at North Montgomery.
In the previous 45 meetings at North Montgomery the Chargers own a 29-16 advantage over the Mounties. The Chargers own the overall series advantage as well — leading the series 45-39. However, in the most recent meeting the Mounties have earned the upper hand winning the last five games in a row and eight of the past 14.
Since 2000 the two teams have played one another 35 times and the Chargers have a slight 18-17 advantage.
The first meeting in the series was played at North Montgomery on Jan. 7, 1972 and the Chargers won 79-63. In fact, the Chargers won the first five meetings in the series including a 102-69 win on Jan. 5, 1974 which was in the Southmont Holiday Tournament and still stands as the only time the winning team broke the century mark. In fact only three times has the winning team even broken into the 90s. The last time that happened was on Feb. 3, 2007 when the Chargers won a 95-63 decision on its home floor. The Chargers also broke the 90-point barrier in a 91-82 win on Jan. 6, 1978 — and once again on the Chargers home court.
The first Southmont win in the series came on Jan. 10, 1975 when Southmont posted a 73-65 win at Southmont.
There have been 13 meetings which have gone into overtime. Three of those games have actually gone into double overtime. North Montgomery has won eight of the 13 OT games and two of the three double overtime games.
A five game stretch from Jan. 10, 2003 to Jan. 7, 2005 these two teams treated their fans to some of the most exciting basketball ever. Four of the five games went into overtime and two of the games (back-to-back and just 29 days apart) went into double overtime.
The streak began with a Chargers’ 59-57 win at Southmont on Jan. 10, 2003. Then on Feb. 8 of that year the Southmont won a 56-64 decision in regulation. On Jan. 9, 2004 the Chargers won a 53-46 win in double overtime at North Montgomery. Then 29 days later on Feb. 7, the Mounties won a 50-49 game at Southmont. Finally, on Jan. 7, 2005 the Mounties won a 59-57 decision in overtime.
A total of 17 games have been decided by three points or less and five of those have been decided by a single point.
Not all the games have been competitive. Nine of the previous 84 games have had a winning margin of 25 points of more. The widest margin of victory has been 42. That came on Jan. 6, 2006 when the Chargers posted a 73-31 win over the Mounties at North Montgomery. The Mounties’ largest margin of victory has been 34 points and came on Dec. 2, 2016 when the Mounties beat the Chargers 76-42 at Southmont.
Back in the 2013-14 season the Chargers handed the Mounties back-to-back 32-point losses. The first loss came on Nov. 30, 2013 at Southmont by a 49-17 score at North Montgomery. Then just over a month later in the Sugar Creek Classic at Western Boone the Chargers handed the Mounties a 64-32 loss.
The Chargers own the longest winning streak in the series when it won 10 straight from Feb. 5, 2005 to Dec. 3, 2010. Southmont’s longest winning streak is nine games and that took place from March 2, 1990 through Feb. 9, 1994.
The two teams have met nine times in the sectional and Southmont owns a 5-4 advantage in those meetings. The last meeting in the sectional took place in 2011 at Lebanon with Southmont winning 68-63.
Overall the Mounties will playing its 1,028th game and have collected 459 wins. North Montgomery is playing its 1,059th game and has earned 512 wins. Which school will the win total this Friday? As always it will be well worth the price of admission.
Barry Lewis has been playing or covering sports in Montgomery County for more than 40 years and enjoys helping to keep our sports heritage alive with his bi-weekly column for the Journal Review.