County Girls Basketball

Lady Mounties cruise past Athenians for county title on senior night


NEW MARKET— Southmont girls basketball has saved it’s best basketball for 2024. The Mounties came into Saturday’s Sagamore Conference and county matchup against Crawfordsville looking for two straight county titles and to re-main unbeaten in the new calendar year. The Mounties took advantage of a struggling Athenian offense and used it’s relentless defense along with it’s size advantage to dominate their county rival in a 44-16 win.

From the opening tip, Southmont put the pressure on and after the first eight minutes led Cville 12-0. The visiting Athenians wouldn’t score until the 6:26 mark of the second period when Olivia Hedrick got CHS on the board. After the initial wave by the Mounties, CHS settled in and played the Mounties pretty even in quarter two with South having the 7-6 advantage to lead 19-6 going into halftime. The second half was more Southmont’s style and pace as they out-scored CHS 25-10 to pull away for the county win.

What made the victory even more special was it was senior night for the Mounties. They honored their four seniors and two senior managers as Olivia Gray, Chloe Jenkins, Cheyenne Shaw, DeLorean Mason, Kela Johnson, and Johnna Miller who all honored before the game. It was also the first group of seniors that Southmont coach Dan Burkman has been able to coach all four years.

“I really could talk about each and every one of these girls forever,” Burkman said of his senior class. “They’re a very special group  who are great leaders. What’s great about them is they aren’t traditional seniors in the fact that they’ve opened their arms to all of these freshman on our team. It’s going to be hard to play without them but we have more we want to accomplish with this group.”

Mason led all players with 18 points in the county title win for the Mounties as she’s saved the best basketball of her career for this stretch run also. Those 18 points included four threes. Layla Gomez added nine for the Mounties with Jenkins scoring eight. Shaw scored five and Emily Link added four.

Crawfordsville (0-20 0-6 SAC)  continued to battle as they have all season. What plagued Cville in the loss more than anything was the poor foul shooting. The Athenians went just 6-25 (24%) from the charity stripe along with going just 5-27 (18.5%) from the floor. Litzy Huesca led CHS with seven points, Olivia Hedrick four, Caroline Melevage saw varsity time for CHS and scored three with Madi Hedrick adding two.

“We’ve really been working on shooting the ball all week in practice and it just didn’t translate to the game,” Crawfordsville coach Joe Ferguson said. “I thought our energy on defense was great and because we working so hard down there, we didn’t have enough energy on the offensive end. I’ve told our girls that we’re still really good things out there. Our post players have come a long way for how under-sized we are. Our effort has always been there, it’s just we lack the offensive skill set  to compete with good teams like South is.”

Southmont (11-7, 3-3 SAC) will have a busy final week of the regular season with three games. The first comes Tuesday when they travel to Covington. Wednesday they’ll travel to take on Sheridan before hosting Lebanon next Friday in the regular season finale.

“We had to play a ton of girls because we got into some foul trouble and moving forward into this week we’re going to need them even more,” Burkman said of his teams depth. “To be county champions it takes a full team effort and a lot of girls stepped up when their number was called. These three games to end the year are going to be rough on us physically more than anything. I think these girls are up for the challenge and we want to keep that perfect mark going here in 2024.”

Crawfordsville ends its final week with a pair of games. Tuesday the Athenians host North Vermillion before taking on Frankfort to end the regular season on Friday.