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LINDEN — Defense was the word of the day as Western Boone defeated North Montgomery 39-32 in the second semifinal game of the girls Sugar Creek Classic.
The win sends the Chargers into the consolation game Saturday against Crawfordsville, while the Stars will try to win the championship for the 11th consecutive year, as they take on Southmont in the finals.
The game was physical on both ends, as the defenses made life difficult for both teams.
The Stars, who move to 2-4 on the season, got the better of the inside game, going to the free throw line for 25 attempts.
North, whose three-game win streak ends, was also forced into 22 turnovers.
“North Montgomery played us really tough,” Stars coach Megan Alexander said, “but our seniors really played well down the stretch. I have the utmost belief in our defense, and the defense kept the lead.”
The Chargers, who never led, got the game back to one possession a few times in the first three quarters, and back to within five at 35-30 in the final minute.
“We had people get into early foul trouble, and then we lost two girls to injuries or medical issues,” North coach Ryan Nuppnau said, “It makes things tough, but we had other girls step up. Our defense played really well. We held WeBo to 17 points in the first half and Grace McClaskey kept “(Kara) Brewer from getting a field goal. WeBo got some drives and some offensive rebounds, and with our bigs out, it made it tougher.”
Brewer, the leading Stars returning scorer, did get her points, albeit from the line, as the senior finished with six.
Hillary Reed led WeBo in scoring with 15, and Tori Wilkinson added a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
North was led in scoring Maddie Moseley, as the senior was 10 points above her average with 14. The North centers, Emily Sennett and Katie Rice, each averaging 10 points, were held to a combined 11 as they spent plenty of time on the bench with foul issues.
“Those girls are really good,” Alexander said. “We knew we had to go at them and hope for some fouls.”
North, who falls to 3-3, was 12-of-40 from the field, 2-of-12 from deep and 6-of-11 from the line.
The Stars were 11-of-35 from the field, 1-of-6 from long range and 16-of-25 from the stripe. North won the rebound battle 37-29.
The consolation game on Saturday at North Montgomery starts at 6 pm, with the championship game scheduled to start at approximately 7:30.
"If we play with the same heart and energy we played with tonight," Nuppnau said. "I’ll take our chances. Crawfordsville is going to come at us and they will be hungry for a win in the Classic too.”
Western Boone is hopeful of an 11th straight classic title.
"This is the kind of win that can get this season going,” Alexander said. “Our seniors know how to get it done, and the freshmen are learning. We are going to have to get the ball inside against Southmont. We have to feed the beast inside. Southmont has some great athletes and they will pressure us a lot. We have to play better, but I’m really proud of how the kids played tonight.”
GIRLS SUGAR CREEK CLASSIC SEMIFINAL
WESTERN BOONE 39 NORTH MONTGOMERY 32
Western Boone 8 9 10 12 - 39
North Montgomery 4 9 4 15 - 32
Western Boone (2-4): Voils 0-1 1-2 1, Brewer 0-3 6-8 6, Reed 5-14 4-7 15, Wilkinson 4-10 5-7 13, Bascom 1-4 0-0 2, Conyer 1-2 0-1 2, Pennington 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 11-35 16-25 39.
North Montgomery (3-3): Moseley 4-11 5-8 14, McClaskey 2-7 0-0 5, Rice 2-4 0-0 4, Sennett 3-9 1-3 7, Rominger 1-3 0-0 2, Dugard 0-3 0-0 0, Welch 0-2 0-0 0, Zachary 0-1 0-0 0, Broadwater 0-0 0-0 0.
3-Point Shooting: WeBo 1-6 (Brewer 0-1, Reed 1-4, Conyer 0-1); North 2-12 (Welch 0-1, Moseley 1-3, Dugard 0-1, McClaskey 1-4, Sennett 0-3).
Rebounding: WeBo 29 (Wilkinson 11, Bascom 4); North 37 (Moseley 8, Welch 5, Rice 5, Dugard 4).
Turnovers: WeBo 14; North 22.