Fountain Central has had a turn around season.
No matter the outcome of the sectional, the Mustangs proved their worth — winning 13 games, an 8-win improvement from last season.
Coach Jason Good has guided Fountain Central to a 13-6 regular season record in his first season at the helm and the Mustangs will host Class 2A Sectional No. 38.
“I feel like we have improved in nearly everything,” Good said. “What has stood out is that they have gained confidence to battle back through adversity. We have rebounded better, and we have learned to see the floor better. Most importantly, I feel that the girls have learned to become better teammates and to support each other.”
Fountain Central started the season 2-4, but have won 11 of its last 13 games. The Mustangs are one of five teams with a winning record in the sectional, including their first round opponent Seeger, who is 14-2. The Patriots beat the Mustangs 61-22 on Dec. 12, but Fountain Central tightened things up in a 51-39 Seeger win just 18 days later.
“At the Bi-County, we started to overcome some obstacles and some fear when playing them, but we still have to take another significant step forward next week to get to their level,” Good said. “We know that they are among the best teams we face all season, and we cannot afford to make many mistakes.”
Taking care of the ball will be the No. 1 priority for the Mustangs entering Tuesday night’s contest, which will be the second of two quarterfinal games. Seeger has a defensive average of 29.8 points per game — a third-straght season the Patriots have held their opponents to an average of less than 30 points per game.
“We have to be able to take care of the basketball — Seeger is an excellent defensive team,” Good said. “They also have many players who can hurt you, so it is not a matter of trying to limit one girl. It is a great opportunity to play against a good team that is capable of capitalizing on every mistake, so we simply have to play our best basketball.”
Fountain Central averages just 44.3 points per game, but gives up just 40, while Seeger averages 50. Dakota Borman leads the Mustangs with 16.8 points per game and 6 rebounds, while sophomore Aubry Cole is the top scorer for the Patriots.
Overall the sectional is one of the toughest in the state, with a combined record of 73-29 amongst the six teams. Good knows it wil take a complete effort for the Mustangs to compete.
“We must take care of the ball. We must also rebound well, especially on the defensive end,” he said. “This is something I feel we have improved over the season, but it will be a key on Tuesday. The biggest thing is that, to be successful, you must be playing your best basketball at this time. I feel that we are peeking at the right time. We have had a great season, and our sectional is loaded this year.”
The Fountain Central/Seeger winner will play Sheridan (10-4) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night. Rossville (6-13), Central Catholic (12-2) and Clinton Prairie (18-2) are all on the other side of the bracket. Central Catholic is the defending sectional champion, while Fountain Central is in search of its first title since 2015.