The Paper photo by Codey Emerson 
Sophomore Forward Lydia Dugard helps anchor the Lady Charger defense which only allowed 28 points in the teams 54-28 win  against Elwood on Tuesday night.
The Paper photo by Codey Emerson Sophomore Forward Lydia Dugard helps anchor the Lady Charger defense which only allowed 28 points in the teams 54-28 win against Elwood on Tuesday night.

LINDEN – North Montgomery’s girls basketball team had struggled to score in its first two games this season, managing 46 total points in losses at Frontier and Parke Heritage.

Listening to coach Ryan Nuppnau’s pregame mandate, the Chargers found the homecourt nets much more to their liking Tuesday night in an easy 54-28 victory against winless Elwood.

A 3-pointer by Emily Sennett early in the second quarter gave North Montgomery a 22-9 lead, nearly matching the Chargers’ season scoring average in less than 10 minutes of game time. Sennett would make three of North Montgomery’s five 3-pointers against Elwood, taking to heart Nuppnau’s challenge.

“We’ve struggled lately with confidence in our shot,” Nuppnau said. “I just told the girls before the game if you pass up a good shot, you’re sitting next to me.

“I think they came out with a little more confidence and knocked down a few shots. That snowballed into making other shots.”

Five different Chargers scored in the first quarter, which ended with a 19-10 advantage. Elwood only led once, 2-0.

Sophomore Katie Rice led all scorers with 14 points and also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for the Chargers. North Montgomery outrebounded Elwood 45-29 and held the Panthers to 23 percent shooting from the field.

Sennett finished with 12 points. Makinze Rominger provided eight points and six rebounds. Maddie Moseley also had eight points and grabbed three rebounds.

“It’s nice when Katie gets a lot of boards. Makinze is also getting some big boards,” Nuppnau said. “When we get those two girls getting close to double-doubles every game, that will be big for us. Maddie Moseley, the smallest girl on our team but the biggest heart, gets a lot of big boards too. We told the girls we had to control the boards, no second chance opportunities.”

North Montgomery continued its strong defensive start to the season, holding its third consecutive opponent under 32 points. That allowed the Chargers to build their biggest lead, 52-22, in the fourth quarter.

“Maddie Moseley, Grace McClaskey and Madi Welch did a great job on their two tough guards out front and shut them down, especially in the second half,” Nuppnau said. “That was a big help.”

Those two tough Elwood guards, Courtney Todd and Claudia Leavell, were held to 12 and three points, respectively.

In addition to improved free throw shooting (11 of 15), Nuppnau also saw improvement in his team’s turnovers. While the Chargers committed 11 of their 19 turnovers in the second half – after taking command of the game – it marked a giant leap from the nearly 30 turnovers a game which he believes cost a chance to win at Frontier.

“When you average 25-30 turnovers that’s 25-30 fewer shots you get,” Nuppnau said. “Losing at Frontier by one point, one extra shot could be the game right there.”

North Montgomery (1-2) returns to the road Friday night for a 6:30 p.m. varsity-only contest at Attica.