NEW MARKET — Coming off their first loss of the season where the Southmont girls basketball team turned the ball over 39 times vs the Tri-West, the Mounties were back in action as they took on the Seeger Patriots. Turnovers once again plagued Southmont as the Patriots came away with a 45-42 win.
The Mounties (10-2) not only turned it over a total of 25 times, but more importantly 17 of those 25 turnovers came in the second half while they were attempting to keep pace with the Patriots. Despite those turnovers the lady Mounties had a chance to tie the game with the last possession but were unable to get the game-tying bucket to fall.
“It’s tough to win a game when you turn the ball over that much,” Southmont coach Dan Burkman said. “We were still in a good position at the end to win the game despite turning it over that many times. I felt like at least half of those were us trying to do the right things, but we’d do something silly or just overthrow somebody. Hopefully we get this worked out because we just can’t keep turning it over like that.”
Belle Miller was a key part of the Mounties staying in the game in the second half as she had 10 of her team-high 12 points in the third and fourth quarters. Natalie Manion also added in 10 points in the loss. Aubry Cole led all scorers in the game with 16 for the Patriots. Burkman encouraged his 6-foot junior to be more assertive and she answered the call.
“I finally told her (Miller) that if she gets the ball that low in the post like she did, all she should be thinking about is finishing,” he said. “I don’t know if she took that advice or not, but whatever she did it worked.”
The loss for the Mounties marks their second straight after starting the season 10-0. As the schedule has gotten tougher specifically in these last two games, Burkman talked about how this small skid could actually work out in his team’s favor.
“We had one of our best practices of the year after our loss against Tri-West,” he said. “I thought the girls came our really focused and were wanting to know how they could get better. I told them in the locker room also that this is the kind of games we want to play. These type of games really do prepare you for the sectional. If we can learn from this, which I hope they will, maybe some lights will start to come on.”
The schedule doesn’t get much easier for the Mounties as they will travel to Sagamore Conference rival Danville Monday night.