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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Mounties defeat Patriots in opener

NEW MARKET — Southmont did not look like a team that hadn’t suited up since the sectional last February when they took the floor Thursday night in its season opener. Led by their veterans, the Mounties easily defeated Bethesda Christian 51-36.

Southmont (1-0) never trailed, leading 23-13 at the half and by as many as 16 early in the fourth quarter.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” first-year coach Dan Burkman said. “I knew it might be a little ugly, but like I told the girls in the locker room that we remained discplined today trying to work on the things that we’ve been working on. From that standpoint I was really happy with their performance.”

The Mounties provided a balance attack on offense, knocking down 20-of-44 shots in the win. Sidney Veatch led Southmont with 16 points, including eight in the third quarter. Paige Vawter led the Patriots (1-1) on a 6-0 scoring run early in the third period to cut the lead to 25-19, but Veatch answered with a pair of baskets and Bethesda never got any closer.

Freshman Kenzie Fulks, who led all scorers with 22 points, scored eight straight early in the fourth to cut the lead down the eight, but the Patriots managed just one basket in the last 3:54.

“I told them they were going to be challenged,” Burkman said about the defense. “and I didn’t really see too many breakdowns.”

Bethesda connected on just 13-of-51 shots, while Vawter added 12 points to Fulks 22.

The Patriots put pressure on the Mounties offense, but Southmont only turned it over 16 times, including just five in the first half. The Mounties outrebounded Bethesda 40-29.

Addison Charles and Natalie Manion each reached double-figures with 11 points apiece, while Belle Miller added eight.

“I’m really all about the team concept and really team scoring,” Burkman said. “And that was another thing I was really happy with tonight, was I really didn’t see any unselfish play. They played together and shared the basketball and for the most part didn’t really take too many bad shots.”

Southmont is idle until next Friday when they host North Montgomery in the first round of the Sugar Creek Classic.

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