NEW MARKET — Waiting is never fun.
And for three quarters the Southmont boys’ basketball team didn’t look like the team playing its first game of the season, but a 21-9 fourth quarter for Cloverdale lifted the Clovers past the Mounties 53-42 in boys’ basketball on Saturday.
“They’re a big physical team and they came in thinking they were going to push us around,” Coach Jake Turner said. “We started to settle in after a rough start. Just the turnovers is what killed us the most tonight. If we cut those in half and make some layups we normally make then we win the game.”
Southmont committed 23 miscues, to just 16 turnovers for the Clovers.
The Mounties (0-1) were without two starters in their opener as sophomore Carson Chadd and senior Austin Bowman were both unavailable. Despite being down two key players from last year, the Mounties kept close with Cloverdale, who opened its season Friday with a blowout win over North Montgomery.
“Our guys battled all night and I’m really proud of their effort,” Turner said. “It could have spiraled out of control early when they got up 6-0, but we fought back. I thought we rebounded well and played good defense, it simply came down to lack of execution late. We want to play fast with the athletes that we got, but sometimes we played too fast and didn’t understand when to slow it down.”
Kyle Thomas led all scorers in the game with 23 points for the Clovers.
Logan Oppy led the Mounties with 14 points in the loss. Avery Saunders and Cam King both added in 10.
Saturday marked the Mounties first game against another opponent in 274 days according to Turner. With no offseason, summer workouts or scrimmage , Turner knows that his team will only get better as the season goes along.
“For some of our guys they saw their first meaningful varsity experience tonight,” he said. “We talked about having confidence going in. We have to do with our lack of confidence is go out there and give maximum effort. I can’t criticize that at all. We had some very good things that we did tonight. I think we beat ourselves a bit and it’s a little frustrating knowing that it’s a game we could have won, but we’ll learn from it and be better.”