NEW MARKET — A Belle Miller 3-point play and a pair of Addison Charles free throws helped secure a Southmnot comeback win over North Montgomery 33-29 on Friday night in the Sugar Creek Classic semifinals.
The Mounties (2-0) used a 12-1 run to close the third quarter to erase a six-point deficit, before Miller’s basket and free throw made it 31-27 Mounties with 1:04 left in the game. Hadley Broadwater converted a putback bucket for the Chargers (2-1) with 16 seconds to go, but Charles knocked down a pair of charity tosses in the final 10 seconds.
“I was proud of them for continuing to do what we were trying to do,” first-year coach Dan Burkman said. “and staying with it, because it could have been easy to give up on it.”
Both teams struggled to score in the first quarter, as the Mounties first points didn’t come until Charles knocked down a 3-pointer with 2:05 left in the period. North Montgomery led 4-3 after one and 18-16 at the half.
Katie Rice and Broadwater each scored to start the third quarter to extend the Chargers’ lead to 22-16 with 3:30 left, but Charles led the Mounties on the 12-1 run behind a pair of 3-pointers to make it 28-23 Mounties after three quarters, and they never trailed again. Charles led all scorers with 13.
North Montgomery transitioned into a zone defense at different points in the game, flustering the Mounties into a 12-of-57 shooting performance and outrebounded the Mounties 49-23, but it wasn’t enough.
“The girls did a really good job with the zone,” North Montgomery coach Ryan Nuppnau said. “We hadn’t practice it a whole lot. We just don’t match up with them well with three bigs and especially with Sidney Veatch out with how athletic she is. She’s a tough matchup.”
Veatch added eight points for the Mounties, and created chaos running the point on Southmont’s 1-3-1 defense.
“I thought if we could get our offense going by the way of our defense, and I thought that’s where we picked up in the second half was our 1-3-1 really caused some problems for them,” Burkman said.
North Montgomery turned the ball over 36 times in the loss. The Chargers were without the services of senior guards Grace McClaskey and Nina Gable, and Rice left the game in the fourth quarter with an injury — spreading the Chargers thin.
“We definitely missed Grace McClaskey not being out there,” Nuppnau said. “Madi Welch and Hadley Broadwater played the entire game. Not having Grace and Nina (Gable) out there to rotate and keep them fresh, we started having a little fatigue,”
Broadwater led the Chargers with eight points, while Rice added seven. Miller had seven for the Mounties.
North Montgomery will play Western Boone in the consolation game at 4 p.m. at Southmont, while the Mounties will battle Crawfordsville at 7 p.m. in the championship. Southmont is vying for its first ever Sugar Creek Classic title. The Athenians knocked off the Stars 40-25 in the other semifinal on Thursday night, and Burkman is hopeful his team’s defense can lead the Mounties to more success.
“I think our defense, we need to keep pressure on them and try and get some transition baskets,” he said.