VEEDERSBURG — Thursday night saw a nail-biting, down to the wire girls basketball contest as Fountain Central hosted Southmont. The Mounties came in riding high after two straight wins, both where they held their opponents to under 30 points. Fountain Central which features 11 freshman and sophomores on its squad didn’t look like a young team Thursday as they battled the entire night with the Mounties and eventually hold on to a slim lead for a 50-48 win.
After one quarter Southmont and Fountain Central were all tied at 15. The Mustangs gained their first lead at the four-minute mark of the second quarter, but the Mounties never let their deficit get more than five points.
Trailing by two with the ball, Southmont had two lay-in opportunities that didn’t fall to try and tie the game with under 30 seconds remaining. Jerzi Hershberger connected on two free-throws with under ten seconds left in what would ultimately seal the game for Fountain Central.
“Tonight was the best night that our two seniors really imposed their will on the game,” Mustang coach Jason Good said after the win. “Jerzi kept everybody under control and took care of the ball and Larissa was able to be dominant under the basket.”
It was indeed both Hershberger and Bowers who led the way for the Mustangs. Hershberger had a team-high 17 points to go along with five assists and five steals while Bowers ended with 14 points and 16 rebounds.
“I was kind of hard on Larissa a little bit after our last game,” Good said. “Tonight she was diving for loose balls and getting deflections and was a true senior leader for us. Tuesday I didn’t feel like we competed very hard and they saw that on film and then two days later they look like a completely different team out there.”
Southmont (2-2, 0-1 SAC) was led in scoring by Belle Miller who recorded a game-high 21 points. Mountie coach Dan Burkman knows his team is better than the way they played tonight, but tipped his cap to the Mustangs for a hard-fought win.
“I do believe we are the better team, but we didn’t deserve to win tonight,” he said. “They wanted it more than we did and hopefully it serves as a learning experience for us moving forward because some we didn’t come out with the intensity level that I know we have. Overall there was a lack of focus as well.”
After winning their two previous games and being favored to come away with a win against the Mustangs, Burkman did see a potential ‘trap game’.
“I was a little nervous coming into tonight,” he said. “We had played well in our last two wins and we were feeling good and I know what can happen in situations like that. I still believe in them and we’ll get it back but if they don’t learn from this we won’t be where we need to be at the end of the season.”
The Mustangs with the win improve to 2-2 on the season. In a game where Good knows his team likely wasn’t favored to win, he still sees the victory as building block for his young team moving forward.
“I really try and put emphasis on if we’re getting better with each game we play,” he said. “Offensively I think we starting to learn to make better decisions each game. When you have a young team who started to lose a few in a row their confidence does get a little shaken, but we’re seeing them grow and understand some of the thins they can do.”
Southmont will have a week off to prepare for the annual Sugar Creek Classic which will take place at Western Boone. The Mounties will get their first look at county rival Crawfordsville next Friday.
Fountain Central will be back in action Tuesday at home as they will get a duel with Crawfordsville.
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