VEEDERSBURG —Kaleb Swick scored the first ten points of the game for Southmont as they opened a 19-3 lead over Fountain Central on their way to a 76-62 win. The Mountie victory snapped a seven-game losing streak and head coach Jon Sparks said he liked the way his team started.
“We executed early and got the lead,” Sparks explained, “and then we played at the pace we wanted.”
Fountain Central (10-11) got some good looks early in the contest, but their shots failed to fall, whether from near the bucket or beyond the arc. It was almost four minutes before the Mustangs got on the board thanks to a three-pointer from Dallas Otero.
Southmont (9-9) then went on a 9-0 run with points coming from Swick and Camden Chadd to lead 19-3 before Brandon Howell made a lay-up for the Mustangs. Patrick Scheidler then hit a late free throw to put the Mounties up 20-5 after one quarter.
“We’ve got to learn to start a game better,” Fountain Central Coach Jason Good said, “We got good looks early, but the shots didn’t fall and no fouls were called.”
His team played the visitors almost to a standstill in the second quarter with Aaron Barnett, Tim Ellis and Otero hitting three-pointers that offset scoring from Chadd and Justin Howard.
Going into the locker room at intermission, the Mounties led 36-20.
After halftime, Southmont returned to feeding the ball to Swick, who helped push the lead up to 20 at 45-25 just three-and-a-half minutes into the period.
Fountain Central responded with their first run of the night, getting three-point shots from Otero, Ellis and Nathaniel Butts to cut the Mustang deficit to only a dozen, 40-36 in about two minutes of play.
Chadd hit a trey to restore the 15-point lead and the two teams traded baskets for the remainder of the period with the Mounties up 56-42 going into the final eight minutes.
The Mustangs continued their comeback behind baskets from Ellis and Butts. When Barnett hit a three-pointer that made the score 61-52, the hosts trailed by less than ten at for the first time since it was 7-0.
Fountain Central’s Jake VanCleave got a steal and made a lay-up with 4:19 left in the game to make the score 64-57 but the Mustangs would not get any closer.
Southmont’s final five points came from the line while the Mustangs could only hit a basket at the horn, making the final score 76-62.
“What was good was the way we fought back,” Good said. “What was bad was that they shot 36 free throws and we shot six. You can’t win with that difference.”
Good said his plan coming into the game was to be aware of the two key Mountie players in Chadd and Swick. But the Mountie duo ended up scoring 28 and 31 points, respectively.
Both teams will play home games on Friday. Southmont will entertain Greencastle and the Mustangs will play Wabash River Conference rival North Vermillion.