NEW MARKET — On Tuesday Southmont girls basketball will finally hit the court for the first time since Nov. 30. They will host Riverton Parke.
Quarantines within the program halted the Mounties season and now it will be more than a month since they last played a competitive game.
With roughly a month left in the season, Southmont will have to ramp up its play as they head into the final stretch.
“Our girls have continued to stay positive and upbeat through all of this,” Souhtmont coach Dan Burkman said. “I really believe that where your team’s mentality is at at Christmas time really defines how the season is going to finish out.
“I’m not seeing some of the things that I thought I was going to have to address, so from that perspective they’ve been great.”
The Mounties record sits at 4-5 (0-1 SAC) on the season and Burkman has kept things loose at practice, including letting the team decide how practice will go and using scrimmages as a way to simulate games.
The team has great leadership from seniors, Belle Miller, Dori Frederick, Hanna Nichols and Jade Gann. They have been key to helping the Mounties work through a difficult situation.
“Just showing up, having a presence at practice and making an effort to be there was a big thing at the very beginning of this,” Miller said. “That really showed some of our younger girls that we’re dedicated and want to win as a team.”
Frederick said that while practicing and scrimmaging for five weeks without a game is difficult, she and her teammates are more than ready to get back out there.
“We’ve probably scrimmaged more these past few weeks than we did all last season,” Frederick said. “We just want to go out there an finally play a game and get back to being the team we know we can be.”
Burkman said last season and the not knowing on a week-to-week basis if they were going to be able to play helped prepare them for this year.
“I think last year they just took things in stride, and that’s helped out with going through these past few weeks,” he said. “As a whole the girls who were here last year, they’ve just simply said ‘it’s something we have to put up with’ and have moved on quite nicely.”
The Mounties final month of the season will be loaded with games.After they host Riverton Parke on Tuesday they will face county rival North Montgomery on Thursday. They also will play makeup games with conference foes Danville and Western Boone.
“My biggest concern is that we’re going to be playing three games a week,” Burkman said. “I worry about us physically a little bit heading into the sectional in that aspect, but as far as a our play goes I felt good before we were quarantined and still today I feel good about what we’ve been doing.”
Like his team, Burkman is ready to return to action.
“Just like the girls are, I’m really excited to get back,” he said. “We’re going to treat the first few games like a practice and will be doing some new things. It may not be pretty at points, but I believe that it will help us in the long run, because I think we can win our sectional.”
The game against the Chargers on Thursday will be senior night for the Mounties as they look to spoil the Chargers county title hopes.