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Bruins hand Mounties first loss, 77-46

NEW MARKET — Tri-West ran right past Southmont’s perfect record on Tuesday night — thumping the previously unbeaten Mounties 77-46 in Sagamore Conference girls’ basketball action.

Tri-West took a quick 10-0 lead and led 23-7 after a quarter. The Bruins’ full-court man-to-man press forced 17 first quarter turnovers by the Mounties, as Southmont (10-1, 2-1 SAC) managed just six shot attempts in the opening frame.

“I think this is the first real challenge we’ve had this year,” Southmont coach Dam Burkman said. “and it exposed a lot of weaknesses in us. Tri-West is very talented across the board. They are a basketball team and have basketball players up and down their roster. We are still trying to become good basketball players in my opinion. We are good athletes.”

Kenna Kirby led the Bruins (11-5, 5-0 SAC) with 24 points, but she didn’t do it all alone. Tri-West had six players score in the first period, and three reach double-figures for the game. Adrie Thompson added 14 points, and Grace Sandlin chipped in 11.

The turnovers continued for the Mounties — firing 39 total miscues. Tri-West led 44-17 at the half, before calling off the pressure and the teams played near even basketball the last 16 minutes. Still Southmont struggled to create a scoring run.

“We continue to play pretty hard, but that’s only going to get you so far,” Burkman said. “We have to start executing and really our ball handling is probably our biggest weakness right now. We just don’t take good care of the basketball.”

Sidney Veatch led the Mounties with 12 points, while Abbey Gass added nine off the bench. Belle Miller chipped in eight. Southmont connected on just 16-of-41 shots for the game, while Tri-West was right at 50% with a 30-of-60 effort. The Mounties did have a 37-24 advantage on the glass.

Burkman says the Mounties will move on quickly from the loss, understanding there’s a lot of basketball to be played — starting with a visit from a 10-2 Seeger team on Friday, and a trip to SAC foe Danville on Monday.

“If we have to lose like this, now is the time,” he said. “We are not even really going to practice tomorrow. We are going to watch this game and we are going to talk about a lot of things. The season is still a long way to go and I’m going to try and build on it and hopefully the girls are there mentally.”

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