Chargers look to upset Tigers
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 9:00 PM
LINDEN - The North Montgomery boys' basketball team (2-10, 1-2 SAC) is coming off a weekend where they nearly pulled off two upsets against very tough opponents. Things won't get much easier for the Chargers when they host Lebanon (9-2, 5-0 SAC) on Friday or travel to West Lafayette (9-3) on Saturday, but the Chargers seem to be on the brink of a breakthrough, and an upset against a top opponent may be just what they need.
The Paper file photo by Lori Poteet
Owen Randolph played well last Saturday against Westfield, and could see more playing time this weekend when the Chargers look for a pair of upsets.
North Montgomery only was able to play a handful of games with their full roster before a concussion took down junior Jalen West. Even with the forced lineup adjustments, head coach Joel Grindle says his squad is staying focused and positive.
"Our kids have really been working hard and have kept a great attitude," explained Grindle. "We are just trying to keep getting better, and hopefully we will peak at the right time of the year."
The Chargers are led in scoring by senior Nathan Rogers, but utilize a deep bench to alter their attack based on the opponents weakness. Lebanon is led by Caleb Brannon and Cord Barricklow, who combine for over 30 points per game on average. The 6'8" Barricklow also presents matchup issues for nearly everyone in the conference, and is leading the SAC in rebounding.
"We will have to limit their transition by taking good shots and taking care of the ball," commented Grindle. "Lebanon is very good at turning bad shots and turnovers into points. The other key is rebounding because Barricklow is a load, and we will have to be up to the challenge to keep him off the boards."
Lebanon is looking to stay unbeaten and atop the SAC with a victory, while North Montgomery could make waves and open the door for other Sagamore teams with an upset. Friday night's game will be the second half of a varsity double header. The North Montgomery and Lebanon girls will tip off at 6 p.m. with the boys following.
On Saturday the Chargers will face another tough task in West Lafayette. Coach Grindle summed up the matchup.
"Westside is extremely long and athletic. They are bigger than anyone we have played this year. Stanback is an outstanding low post player that can also shoot. Since they have such great length, they can really get after you on defense. It's always a challenge to play at West Lafayette and they are incredibly well coached."
Junior varsity will tip off at 6 p.m. on Saturday.