North Montgomery’s 2009 boys’ basketball sectional title was all about reward and redemption.
First the Chargers defeated Danville 55-51 in the semifinal (the Warriors defeated the Chargers 78-76 in 2008), and then beat Western Boone 63-44 in the sectional final to win their first Class 3A crown in school history.
“This sectional title feels the greatest of them all because it came against bigger schools and tougher competition,” senior DJ Byrd told the Journal Review after the game.
Byrd, who scored 12 points in the win over the Stars, was a part of three of the four sectional titles won by the Chargers from 2005-09. The previous three had been in Class 2A.
Senior Clay Pierce led the Chargers with 18 points, while Kal Airey added 13.
“Coming off the win over Danville and playing a Western Boone team that was on a roll, for us to come out with the energy and focus at the start of the game that we had tonight was big for us,” North Montgomery coach Scott Radeker said after the game.
Airey scored eight of his 13 points in the first quarter.
“We came in with the game plan that we wanted to drive the ball to the basket and hit some easy buckets,” the senior said after the game.
North Montgomery went on to win the regional semifinal over New Palestine 62-49, but fell in the regional final to Greensburg 62-57, despite Byrd’s late game heroics and game-high 26 points. The Chargers finished 18-6 on the season. During their four sectional titles in five years stretch, North Montgomery won 84 games, and lost just 30.
Byrd went on to a four-year career at Purdue where he was named Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year.