Girls Basketball Preview

Mounties will be senior led as new season gets underway


Southmont was the team to beat a year ago in Montgomery County and the Mounties are the trendy pick to defend their county title from last season as they open up the 2023-24 year. Southmont was right at .500 a season ago with an 11-11 record and now coach Dan Burkman has a majority of his team back from a season ago and has high expectations.

South returns top scorer and the 2022-23 Journal Review Player of the Year in senior DeLorean Mason. Mason put together quite the junior campaign averaging 13.7 points per game while nearly leading the state in steals per game at 6.2. Chloe Jenkins is also back for her senior season ans was second on the team with 7.9 points per game and was a key rebounder down low for Southmont averaging 9.7 rebounds. Cheyenne Shaw (5.0 pts & 5.7 rpg) and Olivia Gray (3.5 pts, 3.2 rpg and 2.1 stls) round out the four Mountie seniors.

“I can see the excitement with the girls this season and there’s a lot of excitement from our entire program on what we can do this season,” Burkman said. “There’s pretty high expectations for us and that doesn’t just come from me, the girls are setting the bar high for themselves as well. We’re all looking forward to getting things underway.”

Along with those four core seniors, Southmont will also have freshman Layla Gomez who will provide another post presence along with Shaw and Jenkins. Molly Williams, Kenzie Douglas and others will be used off the Mountie bench. The Mounties have plenty of depth to have a talented team and Burkman notes how he’s seen the intensity in his teams practices.

“They’ve really been unlike any other year that I’ve been here and I think that’s because our skill level has really improved,” he said. “Even with our freshman they’ve shown tremendous growth and these practices have just been really competitive and it brings out the best in the girls. We have great senior leadership with those four leading the way and then a great core of juniors behind them.”

Mason broke onto the scene in a  big way for the Mounties last year and it’s something that Burkman saw coming ever since he took the reigns of the program. She’s the driving force for the Mounties on both sides of the ball and coming off that stellar junior season, the bar has been set even higher not only by Burkman, but by Mason herself for her senior year.

“It’s always great to have a player like DeLo,” Burkman said of his senior point guard. “She’s someone that’s worked her tail off since I got here. The last two years she’s grown tremendously and has really focused this year on her shot and her shooting percentage. Her free-throw percentage has also been through the roof so I’m looking forward to seeing what this season brings for her.”

Southmont has the obvious goals of wanting to defend it’s county title. Winning the Sugar Creek Classic (fell in the championship to WeBo last season) and competing in the Sagamore are also the standard goals for South. Burkman and his team has added one specific goal that he’d like this group to accomplish along with those others.
“We don’t want to lose a home game this year,” he said. “I really believe it’s very attainable especially if we play the way I know we’re capable of. “

That goal for the Mounties will start right away as they’ll open up their 2023-24 season on Wednesday at home when they host the Greencastle Tiger Cubs.