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GBB Preview: Mounties will re-tool for 2022-23

DeLorean Mason will once again man the point guard spot for Southmont this season as she’ll be relied on to do a little bit of everything for the Mounties.

Southmont basketball graduated three starters from its 9-12 team a year ago. Leading scorer (12.7) and rebounder (8.6) Belle Miller along with three-point threat Dori Frederick (38 made threes), and guard Hanna Nichols all will look to be replaced this season as the Mounties open up their 2022-23 schedule with a trip to Greencastle Tuesday evening.

Dan Burkman enters his third season with the Mounties and over the weekend Burkman and his team got a first look at live action with a scrimmage against Clinton Prairie. Players like junior point guard DeLorean Mason, senior Chelsea Veatch, junior Chloe Jenkins, junior Olivia Gray, junior Cheyenne Shaw, and senior Saylor Woods all saw playing time a year ago and will be asked to play an even bigger role this season.

“Those six girls are all pretty experienced and will be relied on a lot this year,” Burkman said. “Some of those girls who played volleyball are still getting their feet as they’ve only been practice a short amount of time. It will take some time to find a rhythm and there will be some sloppy moments but the longer we play we’ll continue to get better and that’s the goal.”

Losing three out of their top four scorers from a year ago, Burkman does know that will be an area of concern while his team is still working things out. He also knows that the talent is there for his team and it will take a complete group effort in the scoring column this year.

“In the last year we’ve really worked on the offensive end,” he said. “Chelsea and DeLo have really stepped up their game on that end. Olivia does a little bit of everything and Chloe has made some big improvements in the post for us. Saylor and Cheyenne will both be asked to score more too.”

The game against the Tiger Cubs on Tuesday will get underway at 7:30 pm at the McAnally Center. With the new sectional realignments for the winter season, The Tiger Cubs are now a potential opponent for the Mounties in the post-season. The goal on Tuesday for Burkman is simple... start the year 1-0.

“We have high expectations for this group and we need to get the year started with a win,” he said. “We do need to clean up some things but ultimately I don’t think it’s cleaning up those things as much as it is getting more practice time and getting in sync. When you’re away from the game for a couple months things get thrown off. These girls have put the time in that things will come back pretty quickly.”

After a season where they saw their county rivals in North Montgomery claim the county title as well as getting swept by both the Chargers and Athenians in the Sugar Creek Classic, those goals of re-gaining both the county and Sugar Creek Classic titles are something that are high priorities for Burkman as his team begins the year.

“Those two things along with winning the sectional are going to be our top goals,” Burkman said. “Also I think this team can finish in the top half of the conference and we can make some waves there too. I feel like we can compete and beat any team in the conference. It’ll just come down to if we show up or not.”

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