Southmont's Addi Charles and Crawfordsville's Lauren Kellerman battle for a loose ball. Kellerman led all scorers with 23 points, while Charles led the Mounties to a win with 11 points.
LINDEN — A fourth quarter shooting spree, and dominating performance on the boards pushed Southmont past Crawfordsville 53-48 in the opening round of the 13th Annual Sugar Creek Classic sponsored by Franciscan Health.
Addi Charles and Emma Ward buried three-straight triples to erase a 39-37 deficit and give the Mounties a 46-41 lead midway through the fourth quarter, and they never looked back.
“I just thought we were a lot more aggressive that second half,” Southmont coach Dustin Oakley said. “I thought they took it to us in that first half, and I just thought we finally matched that intensity and physicality.”
Charles scored eight of her team-high 11 points in the second half, as the Mounties outscored the Athenians 27-22 over the last 16 minutes. Southmont’s (3-1) advantage on the boards proved to be the difference, especially the second half. The Mounties out-rebounded the Athenians (1-3) 37-24 in the second half, and 52-30 for the game — including 29 offensive rebounds that led to 11 second-chance points.
“I thought we put a lot of effort into it, knowing that would be a difference in a win or loss,” Crawfordsville coach Tyler Smith said. “And it ended up being that way. I still like our fight being undersized.”
The Mountie’s size inside proved to be a factory — with Sidney Veatch hauling down 18 rebounds, while Belle Miller added six. Oakley said it was a team effort.
“I thought that was the key thing for everybody,” he said. “Just rebound and go crash.”
Both teams struggled shooting the ball (Crawfordsville 15-of-48, and Southmont 16-of-49), but the Mounties knocked down eight 3-pointers to the Athenians two. Charles hit three, while Emma Ward and Hannah Thompson hit a pair, and Bailey Thompson added one.
“I thought everybody was ready to catch and load,” Oakley said. “Just the catch and shoot — we were making the extra passes.”
Shea Williamson knocked down the Athenians only two in the first half, scoring 11 of her 13 points in the first 16 minutes.
“Some of it is confidence, and even though we want to be that (a 3-point shooting team),” Smith said. “We know some nights the shots won’t fall, and we have to win it other ways.”
Lauren Kellerman led Crawfordsville and all scorers with 23 points. Ward added 10 for the Mounties, while Miller and Natalie Manion each chipped in eight.
Crawfordsville will play North Montgomery in the consolation game at 6 p.m. at North Montgomery on Saturday, while Southmont plays Western Boone in the championship at 7:30 p.m.
"I think this just prepares us for the end of the season, this is a sectional environment, and the way we kept our composure impressed me a lot," Oakley said of his team. “We are going to be ready. 10 in a row for WeBo, what do we have to lose? We are going to come out just as confident as tonight, and I think we can make a statement and take this thing home."