Girls Basketball

Mountie defense leads to rout of Panthers


NEW MARKET ­­— Southmont girls basketball didn’t show any signs of rust after a not playing since Dec. 15 on Tuesday night. After the holiday break, the Mounties were back in action at Bob Tandy Gymnasium as they hosted the Riverton Parke Panthers. What’s been the Mounties calling card is their defense and once again the Mounties were stout on that side of the ball in what ended up a 56-24 rout of the Panthers.

After the visiting Panthers made it 13-7 late in the first quarter, they wouldn’t score again till the 1:39 mark of the second as South scored 15 straight. That allowed the Mounties to take a commanding 28-11 lead into the locker room. It was the same story in the third quarter with Southmont scoring 16 straight points before RP scored their first points at the 2:38 mark of the third. The final quarter saw the Mountie reserves come in and get some playing time with the game in hand.

“We made a slight adjustment to our zone specifically for this game,” Southmont coach Dan Burkman said. “Our girls came out an executed it well and forced plenty of turnovers. Like it typically has, our defense was able to create a lot of fast break opportunities and we were able to finish most of them off.  We made our layups which is something we struggled with at times.”

South’s defense ended up forcing 29 Panther turnovers and as she has the last two seasons, DeLorean Mason was leading the charge. The senior guard had nine steals to go along with her game-high 17 points. Freshman Layla Gomez added 12, Emily Link seven, Molly Williams five, Olivia Gray, Chloe Jenkins, and Karleigh Hall all had four, Cheyenne Shaw two, and Makinzie Wood one. For the game Southmont (8-7) shot 21-40 (52.5%) from the field. What did plague the Mounties was the free-throw shooting. South attempted 32 total free-throws but could only convert 13-32 (40.6%) of those chances. They grabbed 29 rebounds and turned it over 19 times.

“We were drawing plenty of fouls but just couldn’t put it together when we got to the line,” Burkman said of the free-throw woes. “To get to where we want to go, we have to have everything clicking and that includes taking care of business when we get to the stripe.”

Riverton Parke (4-11) was led McKenzie Nowicki’s10 points in the loss. For the game the Panthers shot 9-36 (25%) from the floor and just 1-3 from three. They too had their woes at the charity stripe going just 5-10 (50%). RP grabbed 22 rebounds along with their 29 turnovers.

Next up on the docket for the Mounties will be a big Montgomery County and Sagamore Conference showdown with rival North Montgomery (8-8) on Thursday at home. The Chargers will be going for the county title as they’ve already knocked off Crawfordsville earlier this season. The Mounties still play the Athenians later this month, but nonetheless Burkman knows the importance of these county games.

“It’s always a physical game and we’re going to have to be ready for that,” he said. “Luckily we get them here at our place and I know our girls will come ready.”