COVINGTON — It was a battle of 10-1 vs 9-4 and something had to give Friday night as the No. 8 ranked Southmont Mounties traveled to take on Covington who was looking for their eighth straight win.
The first quarter set the tone for the entire game as both offenses came out firing with the score being even at 18 a piece. The high octane, fast-paced game continued into the fourth quarter where the Mounties trailed by just one at 56-55. However they would never be able to get the go-ahead bucket to fall and the Trojans closed out the game at the free-throw line and a 10-0 run to hand Southmont their second loss of the season 66-55.
“We had a lot of different guys step up tonight,” first-year Covington coach Evan Morgan said. “We were able to hit some big free-throws when we need to and I’m proud of how we battled through the adversity all night long.”
Southmont (10-2 3-0 SAC), turned the ball over 14 times in the loss and that was one of the main reasons they found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
“We didn’t deserve to win this game,” Southmont coach Jake Turner noted. “They played better than us and did more of the little things well. Before the game we talked about three or four keys, and I don’t think we did any of them tonight. We wanted to have single digit turnovers and that didn’t happen, wanted to prevent them from getting anything easy and we gave up layups and wide open shots to their best shooters. We have to take a long hard look in mirror and learn from these mistakes.”
The Mounties had only three players score in the loss. Avery Saunders scored 24 points while Logan Oppy scored seven. The other 24 points came from Sophomore Trip Ward who went 8-10 from the field and 7-9 from three. Turner did take time to praise his sophomore who had a career game.
“He was simply on fire tonight,” Turner said. “He’s a great shooter and is the type of kid that comes in in the morning and works on his game continuously. I’m really happy for him to see some success. That’s a bright spot moving forward is knowing that we have another shooter that teams have to worry about on their scouting report.”
Covington (10-4) was led in scoring by Duncan Keller’s 23 points. Savion Waddell added in 15 and Alan Karrfalt scored 13. The win for the Trojans marks their eighth straight win after a 2-4 start to the season. Coach Morgan credits his players for the win streak and knows his squad can keep the train rolling.
“Our guys are really starting to believe in what we’re doing,” he said. “Early on with me being a new coach, it can take some time to understand how we want to play and the expectations we have. We just keep getting better and better and they continue to impress me each and every week. I love this group.”
The Trojans will get right back at it tonight and look to make it nine straight as they host another Sagamore Conference opponent in the 11-5 Lebanon Tigers.
Southmont meanwhile will also be right back at it as they will once square off against county rival Crawfordsville. The Athenians back on Jan. 8 handed the Mounties their first loss of the season in a thrilling 41-40 win in the Sugar Creek Classic Championship game. Turner knows it will be another war with the Athenians.
“We have to learn from this game very quickly because we’ve got another test in Crawfordsville,” he said. “We know our guys will be tired and sore, but it doesn’t matter. If you want to win championships, you’re going to have to play two nights in row. We just have to rest and take care of our bodies and give them everything we got.”
The Mounties and Athenians will tip off 20 minutes after the conclusion of the girls game between CHS and Southmont. That game is scheduled for a 5:30 tip.
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