The Lady Mounties took the court for the first game of the night against the Cougars and it turned into a nail-biter late. When all was said and done however Southmont was victorious 62-60 and got back to .500 with a 4-4 record (0-1 SAC).
The Cougars had a chance to win the game after Cheyenne Shaw missed a pair of free throws, but a half-court heave by Kyla Willis fell short. Southmont not only overcame free-throw woes in the win, but North Putnam’s full-court pressure forced the Mounties into 43 turnovers. Despite all of it Mountie coach Dan Burkman credited his girls for fighting till the very end.
“They played hard for all 32 minutes tonight,” he said. “I thought we felt almost every aspect of what could happen in a basketball game a times. We had our ups, we had our downs, the crowd was loud, we were dead; just everything you can imagine took place. The girls never stopped playing hard and that was the key to the win.”
Dori Frederick posted a season-high 17 points for the Mounties in the win to lead them in scoring. Belle Miller recorded her usual double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Chelsea Veatch who moved into the starting lineup had one of her best performances of the season for Southmont scoring eight point and grabbing a team-high 12 rebounds. Hanna Nichols and Shaw each had seven while DeLorean Mason had five, and Chloe Jenkins rounded out the scoring with four.
Willis led all scores in the game for the Cougars with 29 points while Annabelle Gross added 22.
“This week (2-0 record) in my mind shines a light on the fact of what I’ve been telling them all year that we are at our best when we can push the tempo. Dori is starting to find a groove right now. With Belle leading the way we have to learn to play through her and if she continues to be heavily involved like she should be, that’s going to open up more opportunities for Dori and everyone else.”
It’s not often you see a team commit 43 turnovers and win the game, let alone score 62 points. Burkman credited his girls for sticking with the game plan.
“For a good part of the second half I thought we tore their press apart,” he said. “You saw that the girls knew what to do against it and once we were able to break it, that allowed us to get out and run which is the style that we want to play at.”
After getting two straight wins and getting some of their momentum back, Southmont looks to keep building off of this week as they move forward into the middle of the season.
“We can’t get too high of ourselves and fall back into the slump we just got out from,” Burkman said. “I’ll have the Classic to remind them of that just in case we do have some slow starts or maybe overlook an opponent. Moving forward though I’m very positive and the girls are in good spirits. They’re buying in to what we want to do and our really fun to coach.”
Southmont will be back in action as they hit the road Tuesday night to take on Parke Heritage (4-2).
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