Southmont's Addi Charles tracks down a loose ball against Danville
Southmont girls’ basketball is familiar with their sectional opponents, and a 3-1 record against has the Mounties as one of the favorites to compete for the Class 2A Cloverdale Sectional. “I lke it at the 2A level,” Southmont coach Dustin Oakley said of knowing the opponents. “We have a pretty even sectional and we feel that we can win it every single year, no matter what our regular season record is at te time.” Fortunately for the Mounties, they finished the season 13-9, including winners of seven straight to start 2020, and own wins over Riverton Parke, Parke Heritage, and North Putnam. A favorable draw helps the Mounties too. Southmont will play the winner of 2-20 Riverton Parke and 10-14 Parke Heritage in the second semi-final on Friday night. “We will just continue to watch a lot of film this weekend and game plan accordingly for both teams,” Oakley said. “It will be nice to watch both teams on Tuesday and for our players to see the sectional environment as well.” North Putnam (11-12) and Cloverdale (9-15) meet in the other quarterfinal on Tuesday, with 16-6 South Putnam waiting in the first semi-final. The Eagles downed the Mounties 61-41 back in late November. The Mounties are ready for a rematch if both teams win on Friday. “We would have to be ready to match their intensity and energy right from the start,” Oakley said. “They killed us the first five minutes of the game during the regular season, and we didn’t handle the pressure very well. I think we are definitely better of beating multiple presses and we have shown that the last couple of games with limited turnovers.” Sidney Veatch leads the Mounties with an average of a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Addi Charles and Belle Miller each chip in eight points a game. South Putnam senior Alex Bratcher is the leading scorer in the sectional, averaging 12.3 points per game, while Riverton Parke freshman Bailey Duke averages 11.5 per game. Oakley feels like defense is the reason for the Mounties 7-win turnaround from last season, and will be the key in searching for their first sectional title since 2014. “Just keep playing great team defense,” he said. “That’s our main focus and has been this whole season. we are holding teams to 44-45 points a game compared to 52-53 last year. We have a lot of confidence right now and this attitude of belief that I haven’t seen in the past couple of years.” Southmont and the Parke Heritage and Riverton Parke winner will tip at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night at Cloverdale.