ROACHDALE – Entering Tuesday night's matchup with North Putnam, Southmont girls' basketball coach Dan Burkman knew his team would have to slow down a high-powered Cougars' offense that was averaging nearly 70 points per game.
The Mounties were able to hold the Cougars under their scoring average and keep their perfect record with a 76-63 win.
After one quarter of play the Mounties (4-0) trailed 20-17, then their offense kicked into high gear for a 27-point quarter, taking a 44-32 lead into the half. Southmont was able to break the full court pressure that the Cougars (3-2) applied early, leading to easy buckets.
“We started passing the ball around a lot more and we started to buy into that philosophy of how to beat the press,” Coach Dan Burkman said. “Once we took the momentum in the second quarter, they never looked back.”
Coming off their first Sugar Creek Classic title where they only scored 43 points in the championship game against Crawfordsville, the Mounties proved that they are willing to play multiple styles. They can rely on their defense some nights and shut their opponents down, or they can run and gun with the best offenses out there.
Junior Belle Miller led the Mounties (4-0) in scoring with 22 points on the night. She also pulled in 14 rebounds to record a double-double. Senior Addison Charles added in 18 points while senior Sidney Veatch had 17 points and matched Miller with 14 rebounds.
The Cougars at one point trailed by as many as 25 points but were able to trim their deficit to as little as 10. Kyla Willis led the Cougars with 25.
“You can see it in their body language that when they (North Putnam) was making their run that they weren’t playing with the kind of confidence that we need to play with,” Burkman said. “You can see we were getting nervous and weren’t staying discipline to what we’re trying to do.”
Both Veatch and Miller ended up fouling out of the game halfway through the fourth quarter, but Burkman was happy when his bench came in and gave the team quality minutes.
“We really had to manage both of them the entire game with their foul trouble,” he said. “Losing Belle definitely hurt because our plan was to get her the ball and it was paying off most of the game for us. This win was a key pivot point for us and I think that we’ll continue to build off the momentum that we have. I know the girls are excited about our start so I hope we can carry it on.”
The Mounties will have a week off before hosting Parke Heritage next Tuesday. North Putnam is at Cloverdale.