GREENCASTLE — Throughout the course of the season, turnovers have doomed the Southmont girls basketball team and once again they played a major role Friday night as Southmont fell 68-54 in the Class 2A Sectional 44 semifinal to the South Putnam Eagles.
A Belle Miller 3-point play cut the Eagle lead to 52-49 early in the final quarter of play, but the Eagles proceeded to go on an 11-0 run and the Mounties (12-5) were never able to recover. Despite the final period where the Eagles outscored Southmont 19-8, first-year Southmont coach Dan Burkman was proud of the way his team battled and fought back all game long.
“I couldn’t be more proud of them tonight,” he said. “We made a lot of mistakes tonight, but I thought our girls out-hustled them tonight and you can see that this game meant something to them. They saved their best for last and it makes me wish that I had more time with this group.”
The Mounties ended the game with 30 turnovers, 18 of which came in the first half. The Eagles also ended the game with 18 offensive rebounds which allowed them to take 66 shots in the game compared to just 43 for Southmont.
“One of the main focuses coming into the game was to keep their big girl (Brie Miller) off the offensive glass,” Burkman said. “I think there was just some bad bounces off the rim and we didn’t do the best job of boxing out tonight. I still can’t find many flaws in what we did tonight, people can knit pick at the small things, but I really couldn’t ask more from them.”
Sidney Veatch led the Mounties in the game with 21 points. Belle Miller added in 12 and Natalie Manion ended with 10. Chole Custis led all scorers in the game with 25 points for the Eagles.
“Sidney was playing with a purpose tonight,” Burkman said of his senior. “From the get go she played with a sense of intensity and purpose and made sure her impact was going to be felt.”
In his first season at helm, Burkman guided the Mounties through a season of many un-knowns. It started back when he joined the team just days before their first practice. He took some time to reflect on his first season and the group of seniors that helped him along the way.
“I’m very proud of what we accomplished this year,” he said. “Our seniors set the tone from day one and were so welcoming and willing to be coached. That makes a big difference and I really appreciate how they led this year and for welcoming me to the program.”
Southmont graduates five seniors in Veatch, Manion, Abbey Gass, Addison Charles, and Marissa Craig.
South Putnam 68, Southmont 54
SM 12 17 18 7 — 54
SP 18 19 12 19 — 68
Southmont (12-5): Sidney Veatch 8 5-10 21, Belle Miller 4 4-5 12, Natalie Manion 3 3-4 10,
Addison Charles 2 1-2 6, DeLorean Mason 1 1-4 3, Jordan Gilstrap 1 0-0 2,
Totals: 19-43 2-10 3pt, 14-25 FT 54
South Putnam (12-1) Chole Custis 7 6-9 25, Brie Miller 4 4-9 12, Macie Bumgardner 3 3-4 9,
Grace Burdge 4 0-2 9, Lilly Vittetow 3 0-0 6, Brionna Egold 0 4-8 4, Hannah Teipen 1 1-2 3
Totals: 22-66 6-28 3pt 17-24 FT 68
3-Point Shooting: SP 5 8-28 (Custis 5, Brudge) SM 2-10 (Charles, Manion)
Rebounds: SP 36 SM 33
Turnovers: SP 17 SM 30