Boys Basketball

Mounties rally for come from behind win


CLAYTON — Southmont boys basketball is saving its best basketball for when it matters most it seems. Winners of two straight, the Mounties were going for three in a row on Tuesday when they traveled to future conference foe Cascade. A feeling out first quarter saw both teams deadlocked at 10-10, but then the Mounties found their rhythm. A 21-13 second saw South take a 31-23 lead into halftime and senior Hayden Hess put an exclamation point on the end of the half with a half-court buzzer beater. However Cascade dominated the third quarter 16-6 to take a 39-37 lead into an exciting final quarter. Cascade scored the first four points to make it 43-37 but South would the go on a 12-0 run and hold on for a 56-50 win.

With a 1:07 left the Mounties led 51-48 but four straight makes at the foul line by Austin Foley and Hayden Hess sealed the Mountie win.

What was the huge difference in the game and a big reason for why the Mounties came out on top was they put on a clinic at the free-throw line going 22-24 (92%) including Foley going a perfect 10-10.

“We spend so much time working on our free-throws,” Southmont coach Michael Byrum said. “Being able to go to the foul line and knock them down especially some of those late ones is a great sign of mental toughness. We know with the sectional coming up things are going to get tight like they did tonight and some games are going to be decided from the free-throw line and we’re going to have to make them count.”

Southmont (9-11)  had three different players score in double figures. Hess led all players with 19 points in the win with Evan Watson adding 15 and Foley recording a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Lucas Oppy added six and Aaron McMasters chipped in two. 

In a game that had plenty of second half swings, it was the Mounties who had the final answer and run to take the lead back and seal the win. Heading into the final quarter, the game was in the balance and South could either bow their heads and concede or fight until the end and the choice was made pretty easily with  Byrum and his team during the break heading into the final eight minutes.

“Being competitive and staying focused is a choice when you’re battling some adversity,” Byrum said. “We’ve spent a ton of time talking about how you win championships is also how you handle your business when things aren’t going your way. Going into the fourth quarter we talked about how we just needed to get some defensive stops. It was great to see us have balanced scoring too with three guys in double figures. That makes us hard to guard and ultimately that’s what we want to do is put a lineup out there where the other team has to worry about 3-4 guys at a time.”

For the game Southmont shot 16-37 (43%) and 2-7 (28.5%) from three to go along with their stellar free-throw shooting. The Mounties also grabbed 31 total rebounds (11 offensive) and turned the ball over 10 times.

Cascade (10-11) was led in scoring by Brady Trebly’s 17 points with Tobi Savini adding 16 and Carter Sanders scoring 10. The Cadets shot 17-45 (38%) from the floor and 4-13 (31%) from three. They also shot it very well from the foul line going 10-11 (91%) while grabbing 14 rebounds and turning the ball over nine times.

Southmont concludes the regular season tonight with a trip to Frankfort then will have over a week off to prepare for the Class 2A Sectional 44 tournament which is hosted by Greencastele. Next Friday South will either face Cloverdale or North Putnam in the semi-finals.