ROCKVILLE — Southmont used a history-making night by Kaleb Swick, and a huge contribution from the rest of the Mounties, to get ready for the sectionals with an 80-46 win over Rockville.
Swick, who led South with 25 points, became the second Southmont player to cross the career 1,000-point barrier this season, joining Cam Chadd.
The senior is the eighth South player to cross that four-digit threshold, and it is the first time in the history of Montgomery County basketball that two players from the same team hit the thousand-point mark in the same season.
“We are really proud of him,” Southmont coach Jon Sparks said of Swick, whose 25 points is seven-plus better than his season average, and his nine rebounds is right on his area-best average. “I’m very sure that he hit his thousand points on the fewest shots ever. His shooting is just astronomical.”
The Mounties shooting was just as good all around, as they handed Rockville their first loss at the Rock-A-Dome of the season.
Hitting 66 percent from two-point range, they finished at 55 percent for the night overall, going 35-of-64.
“This is one of the toughest gyms to shoot in,” Sparks said. “We weren’t shooting well from three-point range, so we took it inside. Our defense also generated a lot of our points.”
Forcing 14 Rockville turnovers, South scored 17 points as a result. On the other side, they had a single turnover in the first, third and fourth quarters, finishing with seven, which resulted in one Rox bucket.
The Mounties trapped from the start, and ran through the end of the game.
“I was surprised that they wanted to run with us,” Sparks said. “They ran a lot of defenses against us, but we got buckets.”
Scoring 20 and taking a 13-point first quarter lead, South forced Rockville’s hand.
The Rox, who had defeated Crawfordsville 54-52 in December by controlling the speed of the game, couldn’t run with the Mounties, nor could they keep the visitors out of the paint, as South put 60 on the board from close range.
“Our guys play well when we get it going,” Sparks noted of his squad, who close out the regular season 11-10. “We played with real intensity tonight, and did some good things. It was a lot of fun.”
Chadd finished with 20 points on an 8-of-12 shooting night, and Ty Williams finished with 10. South was 4-of-17 from three-point range, 6-of-12 from the line and won the rebound battle 39-31. Swick’s nine was followed by Williams with eight.
South’s defense also made life more difficult for Rockville guard Landon Newnum.
The sophomore had 32 against the Athenians but got exactly half that, with 16 against South. Hunter Michalic had a dozen.
The Rox were 18-of-48 from the floor, 3-of-15 from long range and 7-of-12 from the line. Wesley Cottrell led his team with eight rebounds. They finish 12-11 for the season.
Both teams head into sectional action next Tuesday.
The Rox play in their Class 1A sectional, opening the tournament up against Turkey Run. They were 3-1 against their all-Wabash River Conference sectional field.
The Mounties head to South Putnam for Class 2A sectional action, as they play Cloverdale next Tuesday in the second game of the opening round. They defeated the Clovers 83-69 in regular season action, and were also 3-1 against teams in the field.
“A road win was big,” Sparks said. “We obviously are on the road from now on. Rockville had two really good shooters, just like Cloverdale, so we got a good tune-up there. We also saw pressure like we will see, and eight guys scored tonight, which is also big, but the biggest thing was our intensity.”
Notes: Southmont’s junior varsity closed out the season with a 36-33 win to finish the year 9-11.
Swick is the third Montgomery County basketball player to score 1,000th point this season, joining Chadd and North Montgomery’s Caleb Randolph.