NEW MARKET — Southmont’s girls basketball team picked up some momentum heading into Thursday’s rivalry showdown with a 54-39 win over Riverton Parke.
The win is two straight in the new year for the Mounties and moves them to 8-7 overall, while the Panthers drop to 2-12.
A big run at the end of the first quarter and another good-sized one at the end of the second propelled South, who used a pressing trap all game to harass the visitors.
“We had that big run to end the first quarter,” South coach Dustin Oakley said of the 14-0 dash in the final two minutes. “We got three 3-pointers from the Thompson twins in the final minute and we finished with 20 for the quarter. Our press forced some turnovers and we did a good job running our offense against their zone. They are in our sectional, so it is always good to get a win against a sectional opponent.”
Bailey Thompson got one of the first-quarter triples, added five points in the fourth quarter and finished with eight points and four assists. Hannah Thompson got the other two, finished with 10 points and two assists.
Forcing turnovers was the story for all of the first quarter, as the Mounties turned the Panthers over 11 times and scored a dozen points as a result.
They continued throughout the game, forcing a total of 30 turnovers that became 26 points.
“Our press generated a lot of shots,” Oakley noted, “and our bench was really good tonight. They ended up with 28 points.”
Missed shots were also the order of the day, as both teams struggled from the field and from the line.
Fouls were also in demand, as both teams were whistled for 24 infractions.
Sidney Veatch, averaging a double-double, recorded her ninth of the season, as the junior led all scorers with 19 points and all rebounders with 18. She had an assist and four steals to go with all the rest of her work.
Natalie Manion grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out a pair of assists and had three steals, and Emma Ward had five steals and a blocked shot to go with her five boards and a 4-for-4 night at the line.
For the game, South was 18-of-55 from the field and 4-of-16 from long range. They were 14-of-34 from the free-throw line, finished with 55 rebounds and had 24 turnovers.
“We struggled from the line, and we made some silly fouls,” Oakley said, “but our ball movement was really sharp and that helped keep our offense running. We ended up over 50 points, which is big for us. Our goal is 40 to 45 points.”
Riverton Parke put their own pressure and trap on in the second half, and it effective enough to get the margin back to single digits a few times. Their cold shooting kept them from making a big run.
The Panthers finished 12-of-43 from the field, missed all nine of their 3-point shots, and were 15-of-29 from the line. They finished with 47 rebounds, as the game total ended up at 102.
Freshman Bailey Duke led the scoring for the visitors with 16 points and she also had a double-double with 13 rebounds. Macey Barnes had 10 points.
“We forced Riverton Parke into a lot of tough possessions,” Oakley said of the defensive efforts. “Our seniors continue to lead this team, and I say it often, but this is such an unselfish group. We have each other’s backs all the time. When someone has an off game, others step right up. It happened tonight, just like other nights.”
The Mounties have one day of practice to get ready for Thursday’s matchup against North Montgomery, who defeated North Putnam last night 56-34. The Chargers are 10-7.
South won the JV game 52-12. Jayden Rivers led the Mounties with 14 points, and Abbey Gass had eight.