Third time was not a charm for Southmont as the Mounties faced Western Boone for a third time this season in the Class 3A Sectional No. 25 opener at Crawfordsville on Wednesday. The Stars used their athleticism and size to score 42 points in the paint and beat Southmont 59-47.
Western Boone (12-11) grabbed 15 offensive rebounds, including nine in the second half, as they gripped to a comfortable lead after taking a 25-17 advantage into the half.
“I thought our rotations were late,” Southmont coach Jake Turner said. “And they’ve been late all year, and that’s on me. According to our stats they scored 42 points in the paint, they had 15 offensive rebounds and you’re just not going to beat anyone worth a darn if you do those things.”
The Stars jumped out to a 15-8 lead after one quarter, behind six points from Lucas Morton, and a Cortez Stoudemire 3-pointer. Morton led the Stars with 16 points.
An Avery Saunders bucket and Logan Oppy put-back cut the lead to 23-17, but Andrew McAtee scored just before the half for the Stars. In fact, Western Boone scored in the final seconds in each of the first three quarters.
Southmont (4-19) made its’ best attempt at a comeback early in the third quarter. A pair of 3-pointers from Justin Howard and Cole Roach plus a bucket from Luke Gregg made it 29-25 with 5:26 left int he third, but the Stars went on a 10-4 run to close the quarter, and never looked back.
Howard led all scorers with 22 in his final game as a Mountie.
“He’s a great offensive player, and I thought he competed tonight,” Turner said. “He did a lot for us, and some people may think that he’s a selfish player, but I really think he did what he had to, to help us compete for wins.”
Southmont will lose three seniors to graduation.
“We will mis our three seniors,” Turner said. “They’re good kids. Cole Roach, Ryan Stanley, and Justin Howard. And we wish them the best in the future.”
Roach added seven points for the Mounties, while Spencer Wright and Patrick Shallenberger both reach double-figures for the Stars with 13 and 12 points respectively.
Western Boone will now play Crawfordsville in the section semi-final on Friday at 7:30 p.m.