Photo by Lori PoteetGrant Gayler scored 21 points Thursday and passed the 1,000 point milestone.
Photo by Lori Poteet

Grant Gayler scored 21 points Thursday and passed the 1,000 point milestone.

FRANKFORT - For a brief period in the first quarter the Chargers rejoiced. On his fifth shot of the night, North Montgomery senior Grant Gayler hit a baseline jumper on an inbounds pass to crack the 1,000 point mark in his career.

"It's a fantastic accomplishment," North Montgomery head coach Joel Grindle said. "It shows the dedication and work he puts into it. Being only the third guy in the history of the school to do it shows that it's something special."

The rest of the night wasn't as fun for the Chargers in a 64-55 loss to Frankfort. North Montgomery's record went to 10-8 overall and 4-2 in the Sagamore Athletic Conference, eliminating from SAC championship contention for all intents and purposes.

"Tonight we did not play to what our capabilities are defensively," Grindle said. "We allowed them to penetrate and get into the lane. They used their quickness and long strides to get in the paint. If you're going to beat Frankfort you have to keep them out of the paint. We can't give up the number of points we did each quarter and expect to win a game."

There was little time to celebrate Gayler's milestone. After he connected on the jumper, the Chargers still trailed 7-4 and would go down by as much as 12-4 before getting going. Offensively, everything was clicking for Frankfort. They shot 10-of-22 from the field in the first half while building a lead.

North Montgomery fought back at the end of the half. They closed on a 9-2 run to get within a point at the intermission, 27-26.

"We didn't make great decisions," Grindle said. "We missed guys that were open. We through it to guys that weren't open. We didn't read our plays. We took the ball strong a lot and, however you want to say it, the ball wouldn't go in."

The Frankfort offense got going again in the third quarter, outscoring North Montgomery 21-13. The game made its final swing in the Hot Dog's favor late in the third. North Montgomery pulled within five points at 42-37 and stole a Frankfort pass. The Chargers missed the open layup and Frankfort scored the next two baskets, making it 46-37 instead of the 42-39 it would have been with the layup.

North got it within three in the fourth quarter, but Frankfort closed the game on an 8-2 to seal things.

Gayler now has 1,020 points after finishing Thursday with 21. Caleb Randolph contributed 17 points and Jordan Lewis added nine.

Frankfort was led by Jarrod Smith and Lewis Median, who poured in 16 apiece.

"This gives us a little bit of a wake-up call," Grindle said. "We'll get another chance at these guys. We always say you have to be 10 points better than the other team on the road and here we might have to be 20 points better."

The Chargers will play at home on Saturday against Riverton Parke. Junior varsity tips off at 1 p.m. in a rare afternoon start.