MONTEZUMA — Southmont’s girls did a cut and paste in a 56-31 win over Riverton Parke that runs their record to 9-0.
Just like with Monday’s win at North Vermillion, the Mounties turned a pedestrian first half into their own showpiece, outscoring the Panthers 36-15.
They scored 17 points off of 17 forced turnovers while limiting their own giveaways. They had nine assists on 13 field goals, and pushed a small rebound margin to nearly 20.
Natalie Manion wasn’t the catalyst for only the second half. The senior was at the head of the line all night for the visitors, filling the stat sheet with 15 points, nine rebounds, five steals and four assists. All were team-highs.
“She (Manion) was very active,” South coach Daniel Burkman said. “She really stood out tonight.”
Like Monday, Sidney Veatch started the Mounties point barrage with all nine of her counters in the third period. Monday it was 10 of her 16, as South turned a five-point lead midway through that third quarter into a 40-22 margin, scoring the last 13 points.
“The first half was really perplexing,” Burkman said. “We weren’t getting any production out of our press, which we thought we would be able to do. We like to let our defense start our offense. In the second half, we just packed into our 2-3 zone and said we were going to make them hit some shots, and that we were going to run, run, run.”
That is exactly what the Mounties did, as they drop RP to 2-6 on the season.
That first half was also supported by more points from the free throw line than from the field, as South got to the stripe all game. They would finish with 22 made free throws, outscoring the Panthers by 21.
Manion was the only South player in double-figures, but all 12 players who dressed played minutes and nine made the scorebook.
Addison Charles followed Veatch with seven points, and was 5-for-5 from the line. She also dished out two assists and had a pair of steals.
“She (Charles) is on the floor, creating action on both ends,” Burkman said, “and when Sidney (Veatch) gets out and runs the court, we make things happen. We were so alive in that second half.”
For the game, South was 17-of-38 from the field, missed their only two 3-pointers and were 22-of-37 from the line. They won the rebound battle 48-31. Belle Miller matched Manion with nine boards.
South’s armor-bender was 28 turnovers, although they forced 29 and scored 27 points as a result.
The Panthers were led by Bailey Duke. The sophomore was an inside/outside threat as she finished with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
RP was 14-of-52 from the floor, 2-of-10 from long range and 1-of-6 from the stripe.
The Mounties will take their perfect record to North Montgomery Thursday. South has a win over the Chargers earlier in the season.
“It doesn’t feel like 9-0,” Burkman said, “with all the stops and starts, but the girls are ecstatic and I’ll sure take it. We have had some close, tight games to help us learn, and getting more games in will help us get better. We are looking forward to playing North on Thursday. They were missing players the first game and I know there will be good matchups.”
The Mounties won the JV game 30-20. Chelsea Veatch, who had six points in the fourth quarter of the varsity game, led South with nine points, followed by Jade Gann with six.