County Girls Basketball

Mason leads Mountie comeback over Chargers


NEW MARKET ­­— The good old saying in sports is that big time players make big time plays in big time games. Southmont’s DeLorean Mason lived up to that saying on Thursday when the Southmont Mounties and North Montgomery Chargers battled in a county and conference showdown. North led 26-25 going into the final quarter and Mason had been held to just a single point. That quickly changed as the senior guard went on a personal 9-0 run in little over two minutes. When all was said and done DeLo scored 14 of her game-high 15 points in the final 8 minutes and South out-scored North 17-5 to take the county matchup 42-31.

“We really were able to bring the energy in that fourth quarter when we needed it,” Mason said. “That energy allowed us to play faster and that’s the main reason I think why I was able to get some great shots. I started to be more aggressive and that helped a lot too.”

Mason hit two big threes in that final quarter as well the first at the 3:42 mark to give the Mounties the lead for good. North Montgomery (8-9, 2-2 SAC) gained their first lead of the game at the 4:03 mark of the third thanks to a pair of Piper Ramey free-throws. South led 10-9 after a quarter and 18-13 at halftime in what was a close county battle throughout most of the game. Southmont coach Dan Burkman as he as often this season praised the play of his senior who led the comeback effort.

“Those two threes that she had on our out-of-bounds plays were huge momentum plays,” he said. “DeLo has that clutch gene in her and even though she was struggling all night, but that fourth quarter she turned it on and ended the game too with a three-point play. I’ve said it a ton that she’s a heck of a player and that I’m glad we have her on our side.”

For the Chargers who played great for three quarters, Charger coach Ryan Nuppnau knows that his team let the game get away from them in the final eight minutes.

“I was pretty disappointed with our defense in that fourth quarter,” he said. “When DeLo hit those two corner threes that really sealed the deal for them. We had to start fouling after that and were never able to get back in it afterwards. I told the girls that the game is going to be won or lost at the free-throw line. We can’t win games, especially close ones like this when we go 9-18 from the line.  It was frustrating to see because we held their best player to one point through three quarters then she goes off in the fourth. We were real close but couldn’t get the job done in the fourth.”

For Southmont (9-7, 1-3 SAC) along with Mason’s 15 points, Emily Link scored eight, Chloe Jenkins seven, Molly Williams and Layla Gomez both chipped in four and  Cheyenne Shaw and Claire Kessler added two. The Mounties shot 13-45  (28.9%) from the field in the win and made 14-23 (61%) of their chances at the foul line. They grabbed 26 rebounds and turned the ball over 14 times.

The Chargers in the game were 10-39 (25.6%) from the field and as Nuppnau said 9-18 (50%) from the foul line and 2-6 (33%) from three. North did rebound the ball very well snagging 41 total rebounds but also gave the ball away with 29 turnovers. Macee Norman and Blair Nichols led the Chargers with nine points. Piper Ramey was held without a field-gaol in the loss going 0-9 and finishing with just six. Mady Holt scored three with both Caelyn Carpenter and Krestyn Bradford adding two each.

“We were playing Ramey to drive it on us and  then have our defense collapse around if she did,” Burkman said of the game plan for the Chargers leading scorer. “We were going to let her shoot it but she never seemed to so I think we executed that part of the game plan very well.”

The Chargers with a win would have secured the county title, but now the Mounties are in the drivers seat to defend their county crown. A matchup against Crawfordsville looms on Jan. 20 where the Mounties can clinch the title.

North Montgomery will be back in action on Saturday afternoon when they welcome the North Putnam Cougars to Linden. South will be idle until next Friday when they travel to Seeger for a girl/boy double-header.