ATTICA – Another balanced offensive performance and continued stellar defense added up to North Montgomery’s second girls basketball victory of the season.

Playing without sophomore Katie Rice for the final 14 minutes of the first half, the Chargers turned that adversity into an insurmountable lead and an eventual 56-18 triumph Friday night.

Rice was charged with a controversial foul moments into the game when it appeared a teammate should have been credited with the personal. Rice was called for a second foul just 100 seconds into the game and was forced to the bench.

With Rice watching, the Chargers turned a 4-0 lead into a 14-3 advantage after one quarter and 34-8 by halftime. Grace McClaskey made a trio of 3-pointers in the first half, and Emily Sennett scored all seven of her points in the second quarter.

“It’s good to know when we have one person down others will step up,” North Montgomery coach Ryan Nuppnau said. “We really didn’t lose a beat with her on the bench, which was good to see.”

Meanwhile, Maddie Moseley led a defensive effort that forced 14 Attica turnovers in the first half. Moseley had six of her game-high nine steals in the first half. Her steals also were nearly one-third of Attica’s 27 turnovers for the game.

“Maddie Moseley is very sneaky,” Nuppnau said. “She’s got quick hands and is surprisingly strong. She’s a relentless little bulldog. She gets a hand on the ball and it’s hers.

“It’s nice that we’ve got three guards in Madi Welch, Grace McClaskey and Maddie Moseley that can put pressure on the ballhandler. That’s something we haven’t had in the past. We can also put one of those girls on a bigger player.”

Also an encouraging sign to Nuppnau was the mere five turnovers his team committed in the first half when the game was still in doubt. Attica speeded up the pace of play in the second half, leading 14 Charger turnovers.

“It’s good to see the girls are starting to recognize things, be under control with the ball and making good decisions,” he said.

Attica did not score its 10th point until Charlie Moore’s basket one minute into the third quarter. In comparison, Rice scored 10 unanswered points in the third quarter to drive the Chargers’ lead to 44-15 entering the final eight minutes.

Rice finished with a game-high 12 points to go with six rebounds. McClaskey finished with 11 points. Makinze Rominger and Lydia Dugard added eight points apiece. Moseley scored six points and grabbed six rebounds. Rominger had a game-high seven rebounds as North Montgomery outrebounded Attica 42-33.

Tatum Nunnally and Moore had five points apiece for Attica, which was playing its season opener.

North Montgomery (2-2) takes a two-game winning streak into its Sagamore Conference opener Tuesday at Frankfort. That begins a busy week for the Chargers, who open the Sugar Creek Classic against Western Boone.

“It’s huge when you get a couple of wins like this early on,” Nuppnau said. “Those are three games that are going to be very competitive. Having that drought last year with some losses was tough but a lot of these girls got some playing time and they’re hungry to turn things around from where we were last year.

Kenny Thompson is an award winning journalist who writes a weekly column for The Paper of Montgomery County and covers North Montgomery Athletics