The Southmont basketball team stopped a two-game skid on Saturday night with a 58-55 win over Riverton Parke.
After playing right with Crawfordsville and Danville for three quarters in back-to-back losses, the Mounties outscored the Panthers (2-4) 35-25 in the second and third quarters and held on to secure the win in the final minutes.
“We talked about in terms of the Crawfordsville game and the Danville game, we were able to play with those teams for three quarters or maybe 26 minutes and then the last six minutes it kind of got away from us,” Southmont coach Jake Turner said. “Tonight was good for us in the fact that we were able to play in a tight and tense game there in the fourth quarter.”
Southmont (5-5) ended the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 28-23 lead. Austin Bowman, Logan Oppy, and Cale Hess each added 3-pointers to start the first half to help maintain a 37-32 Southmont lead. The Mounties were 7-of-11 from beyond the arc in the win, including Oppy’s four triples on his way to a game-high 18 points. Southmont took advantage of Riverton Parke’s zone defense.
“Logan is our best shooter, and we needed him,” Turner said. “We expected to see a zone tonight. We thought they would struggle if they tried to guard us man-to-man. We expected to see the 3-2, and I’m not sure we handled it the best, but Logan was able to hit some shots and that’s huge because we need to play him with confidence.”
That catalyst down the stretch though was Hess. The senior scored 14 points, including a pair of lay-ups early in the fourth quarter to put the Mounties ahead 49-38.
“He’s an excellent defender and a kid with a lot of energy,” Turner said. “He always plays hard and wants to be really good. He’s kind of waited his turn. This year he’s stepped into being our point guard. We realize that he’s the guy most teams are going to sag off of and make beat them and I talked to him about ‘hey you’re good shooter, you’ve got a good looking shot and I’ve seen you hit them. You’ve put in the work, you just have to trust yourself.’”
Southmont struggled from the free throw line, shooting just 4-of-14 in the first half and 15-of-31 from the game, but made just enough down the stretch stave off a Panther comeback. Hayden Gilstrap knocked down a 3-pointer for Riverton Parke in the final minute to make it 53-49 with 49 seconds left and later made a pair of charity tosses to cut it to 56-53, but Hess, Carson Chadd, and Oppy all made shots from the stripe in the final 30 seconds.
Gilstrap led the Panthers with 15 points, while Jacob Bolenbaugh added 13. Chadd added seven points and nine rebounds for the Mounties, while Bowman reached double-figures with 10 points.
Southmont will host Cascade on Tuesday.