NEW MARKET — Southmont erased an early 19-5 lead, but led by senior Connor Davis, Parke Heritage prevailed with a 64-54 win over the Mounties on Tuesday night.
Davis scored a game-high 35 points, including 21 in the second half as the Wolves outscored Southmont 39-29 over the last 16 minutes.
“This is the time of season when seniors are suppose to show up,” Parke Heritage coach Rich Schelsky said. “Obviously Connor is a real good player, but he stepped up big time tonight. Credit to our guys for getting him the ball. He was definitely the difference tonight and when we can him Iso(ed) one-on-one in the post, we like our chances.”
The Mounties (10-9) had no answer for Davis, as he scored 12 first quarter points to give the Wolves (21-3) a 21-13 advantage. He was 16-of-17 from the field, helping Parke Heritage to a 24-of-40 (60%) shooting night. His 14 fourth quarter points helped seal the win for the Wolves.
“Carson (Chadd) did his best battling with Davis, but that kid is so strong and is so relentless,” Southmont coach Jake Turner said. “He’s got an amazing motor. Carson is a strong kid and plays extremely hard. He (Davis) doesn’t even have to make post moves, because he does such a good job sealing you.”
Southmont spanned a 13-0 scoring run from the end of the first to the midway point of the second quarter to tie the game at 21-21 behind six-straight from Avery Saunders. Cale Hess hit a 3-pointer at the 3:56 mark to give the Mounties their only lead of the game. After Davis scored to make it 25-24, Austin Bowman hit a free throw to tie it at 25-25 with 2:26 left.
And with Parke Heritage’s top two guards in Christian Johnson and Riley Ferguson in foul trouble, the Wolves held the ball for the remainder of the half.
“To be honest I felt very fortunate to be tied at halftime,” Schelsky said. “You have to tip your cap to Southmont, they played a whale of a game. They made more shots against us than probably almost any team has since Christmas. And that’s a perfect game for our guys. Even though we have had a lot of success the last two years, we are not used to being a big game for people and people being up to beat us. So I was proud of our guys for withstanding that.”
Southmont connected on 19-of-37 (51%) of its shots, but the Parke Heritage’s defensive pressure forced six Mountie turnovers in the third quarter that turned into nine points for the Wolves — and outscored Southmont 17-8 in the quarter to take a 42-33 lead into the fourth. Southmont had 16 turnovers in the game, leading to 23 Parke Heritage points.
“They’re just an amazing defensive team, and they’re just so strong and physical,” Turner said. “I feel like we have some talented offensive guys. Some guys that can really attack off the dribble and some good players, they just make everything difficult for you. All their guys want to guard. All of their guys are strong. And even if you are able to beat the guy on the ball, the guy that’s one pass away is going to be right there.”
Bowman (above) gave a valiant effort for the Mounties, scoring 18 of his team-high 23 points in the fourth quarter. Saunders and Logan Oppy added nine. Anthony Wood added nine for the Wolves, Riley Ferguson eight and Christian Johnson seven. Parke Heritage out-rebounded Southmont 26-18 and had a 10-2 advantage on second-change points.
Southmont is just the sixth team to score more than 50 points against Parke Heritage this season, and only the second in the last 13 games. A rematch is likely next Friday in the sectional semifinal at Cloverdale. The Mounties have the bye and the Wolves play the host Clovers in Tuesday’s quarterfinal.
“We did shoot the ball well tonight, and that helps,” Turner said. “Hopefully we can replicate that next week. We talked to the guys about if we want to win this game tonight, we’ve got to hold them to the lows 50s, and ideally hold them to the 40s. And at halftime we were on that pace 25-25. We scored 54, the problem was they were 21-of-23 in the paint.
“We talked about how physical and how difficult it was going to be to score against these guys. We’ve emphasized that it’s probably going to be hard to score on the first drive, because it’s going to be like a ‘shell drill.’ They’re going to be loaded up and they’re going to be waiting. What we’ve got to do a better job of is forcing help, kicking it quick, and then attacking instantly.”
Southmont closes out the regular season on Friday at home against Scecina.
Parke Heritage 64, Southmont 54
PH 21 4 17 22 — 64
SM 13 12 8 21 — 54
Parke Heritage (21-3): Anthony Wood 3-5 1-4 9, Riley Ferguson 2-5 4-6 8, Noble Johnson 1-3 2-2 5, Landen Stewart 0-1 0-0 0, Christian Johnson 2-8 3-4 7, Robbie Cheatham 0-1 0-0 0, Connor Davis 16-17 3-3 35, Luke Gregg 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-40 13-19 64.
Southmont (10-9): Carson Chadd 2-5 0-2 4, Cam King 1-3 0-0 3, Cale Hess 2-4 0-0 6, Austin Bowman 7-12 6-8 23, Logan Oppy 3-5 0-0 9, Steele Baumgardner 0-0 0-0 0, EJ Brewer 0-0 0-0 0, Avery Saunders 4-8 0-0 9. Totals 19-37 6-10 54.