The Paper photo by Codey Emerson 
Head Coach Ryan Nuppnau coaches his team during a timeout during the Lady Chargers season opening 31-30 loss against Frontier on Tuesday night.
The Paper photo by Codey Emerson Head Coach Ryan Nuppnau coaches his team during a timeout during the Lady Chargers season opening 31-30 loss against Frontier on Tuesday night.

CHALMERS – The girls’ basketball season is finally back as the Lady Chargers of North Montgomery got their season started on Tuesday night as they traveled to Frontier High School for a matchup with the Falcons. 

In the first game of the season, it would turn out to be a thrilling season opener for both teams which saw the Lady Chargers fall just short as the Falcons walked away with 31-30 victory. The Lady Chargers had two chances to take the lead in the final 20 seconds but ended up turning the ball over both times. Head Coach Ryan Nuppnau talked about the team’s season opening loss after the game. 

“We did a nice job of holding them to just nine points in the second half,” Nuppnau said. “If you hold a team under 40 points then you have a great opportunity to win. We just made some silly unforced errors late and didn’t do a great job of putting the ball in the basket. We went 9-18 from the free throw line and I told the girls from the beginning that’s how we won last year’s game against this team.” 

The Chargers perimeter players were forced to take the bulk of the shots in the second half as the Falcons packed the paint and consistently doubled Sophomore Katie Rice and Senior Emily Sennett. 

“They did a nice job of packing everything in,” Nuppnau said of the Falcon defense. “They forced our guards to shoot the ball and they just weren’t able to hit. We want to force the ball down low, buts since we weren’t hitting outside shots they were able to take that away from us. Sometimes when you back off a guard on the outside, it throws off their psyche off a little bit and they aren’t quite sure what to do. If we do what we need to do which was hit some shots and take care of the ball, we most would’ve won this game. It’s a good learning experience for us and we’ll just move on from here.” 

With playing such a nail biter game in the very first game of the season, Nuppnau talked about what this type of game can do for his team going forward. 

“It allows us to see who’s ready to play,” he said. “It shows who can play under pressure a little bit and what they can do the rest of the season. It also allows us to figure out some late-minute situations out and figure out on what we want to do so we don’t have to call a timeout. It’s good for us to have these games, but it’s frustrating also when you don’t come out on top.” 

Leading the way for the Chargers was Sennett as she tallied nine points in the season-opening loss. Rice scored another seven for the Chargers with Grace McClaskey adding another four points. 

“Maddi Welch, Maddie Moseley, and Grace McClaskey did a great job defensively, out on the perimeter,” Nuppnau said. “We switched them around in the second quarter and they did a great job of rotating in and shutting their scorers down. I’m proud that they were able to step up and defend some girls that were bigger and taller than them. They didn’t shy away and that’s a great thing to see.” 

With around ten or so days of practice and now a live game in the books, Nuppnau talked about what’s next for his team. 

“We just have to keep worrying about ourselves,” Nuppnau said. “You turnovers are going to happen, but we can’t have the unforced errors. Being able to knock down shots with confidence will be something that we need to work on. If we can do that we can open up a lot of things for us down low. Then if our bigs get going down low, that can also open more outside shots.” 

The Chargers with the loss start their season 0-1 (0-0 SAC) and will be on the road again on Thursday as they travel to Parke Heritage.