The Paper file photo by Lori PoteetNathan Neal scored 11 points on Wednesday night.
The Paper file photo by Lori Poteet

Nathan Neal scored 11 points on Wednesday night.
By Spencer Lough

SPEEDWAY- It was a long evening for North Montgomery's boys basketball team on Wednesday night. The Chargers were overwhelmed at Speedway and lost their first game of the season 51 to 83.

Speedway lived up to its name and sped past the Chargers in the game. Running a Princeton-style offense, the Sparkplugs would draw North out of position by driving to the basket, then kicking it out to their 3-point shooters.

"This is probably the best team we're going to see all year," Chargers coach Joel Grindle said after the game. "We had younger kids in different spots, playing different roles. This was a good wakeup call from the freshman and J.V. levels."

Speedway's athleticism gave them a large advantage in the contest; they opened the game with a slam dunk from sophomore Anthony Jones seconds after the tip.

North Montgomery was able to gain composure for moments in the game. Sophomore Grant Gayler came of age quickly and directed many of his teammates into successful plays. He also led the Chargers in scoring with 21 points.

The star of the game, however, was Speedway Junior Justin Brent. The 6'3" forward was a mismatch for North all night. He was the catalyst of many spectacular plays, scoring 36 points in the game.

After the Sparkplugs jumped out to a 43-25 lead at halftime, Coach Grindle made some major adjustments. The Chargers switched to a zone defense and outscored Speedway in the third quarter.

"There were spurts in this game when we did nice things," Coach Grindle mentioned after the game. "We didn't feel like we matched up with them really well. But when we handled the pressure, we really played like we're capable of."

Senior center Clay Cummings provided a big spark for the Chargers. He provided back-to-back three point plays and took a charger midway through the third quarter.

"Tonight, we saw some guys really step up," Coach Grindle commented about his time. "Cummings played the best game I've ever seen him play. He and Grant (Gayler) did some nice things."

The fourth quarter, however, was played at a different level by Speedway. The Chargers looked tired as Speedway continued to harass the backcourt. Justin Brent flew up the court for more than one dunk in the period. At the ending buzzer, the Sparkplugs had put up 30 points in the third quarter.

After Wednesday night, North Montgomery's record was kicked off at 0-1. The Chargers will need to adjust quickly as they face Harrison at home on Saturday.