OXFORD -- The North Montgomery boys' basketball team is in an unusual position this week. They have just one game and it is outside of the Sagamore Athletic Conference. The Chargers (9-7) are prepping for a trip to Benton Central on Friday to battle a 6-9 Bison squad.

"They have a lot of strong, athletic players on the inside," North Montgomery mentor Joel Grindle said. "They are good at getting to the basket offensively. They do a really nice job on the offensive boards. Defensively, they play zone. They do a nice job of using their athleticism challenge shooters, and apply pressure on the perimeter."

The Chargers are in another unique position. Their best player, 6-foot, 6-inch Bethel recruit, Grant Gayler, needs just 15 points to reach 1,000 for his career. He is currently tied as the No. 3 all-time scorer at North Montgomery at 985 points with Blake Murphy. He trails DJ Byrd and BJ Schlicher.

"We are going to have to bring our intensity to Benton Central on Friday," Grindle said. "We are going to have to be dialed in defensively and focus on keeping them off the boards. Offensively, we can't be content with just shooting 3's. We will need to stay aggressive vs. their zone, and execute our offense."

Even though the weekend doesn't involve conference play for the Chargers, Grindle said the preparation has stayed at a high level.

"We are treating this the same as any other game," he said. "Benton Central is a tough place to play. We have a long bus ride, and are going to play a team that is playing really well right now. We have to have the right mindset if we are going to go up there and get a win."

As the season winds down, Grindle pointed to areas that the Chargers want to keep getting better at.

"We want to execute a little better. We need to get off to a better start than we did against Western Boone last weekend. I'm anxious to see how our mindset is. I want to see more of a sense of urgency and mental focus to start the game," he said.

North Montgomery and Benton Central's clash will start with a junior varsity game at 6 p.m. with varsity to follow.