NEW MARKET — Not every win is going to be pretty. That was definitely the case for Southmont Thursday in a 42-36 victory against Fountain Central.
A back and forth opening quarter saw the Mounties hold a 13-12 lead as the Mustangs battled major foul trouble as Mason Larkin, Will Harmon, and Isaac Gayler all picked up two fouls in the first eight minutes. Southmont found themselves in the bonus in final seconds of the first.
Despite the foul trouble and having three starters on the bench Fountain Central held firm and was able to keep the Mounties lead within striking distance at 24-18 going into the locker room.
Then in the third FC found its rhythm and cut the Southmont lead to just 29-27 then rode that momentum into the final eight minutes and even tied up the game at 34 before the Mounties outscored the Mustangs 8-2 down the stretch to seal the win.
“You have to give Fountain Central credit,” Southmont coach Jake Turner said. “They’re a physical team that play the passing lanes well. When you’re able to get it inside they have some size which makes it difficult to finish. I just thought overall we were just impatient offensively tonight. With how patient we were on Monday against Tri-West, we were the exact opposite of that tonight. Give our guys credit too for being able to put them away down the stretch.”
Avery Saunders led the Mounties in scoring with 16 points while grabbing nine rebounds. Carson Chadd also ended up with 11 points and grabbed eight boards.
Mason Larkin was the leading scorer for the Mustangs with 11 points while Koby Wolf added nine and Will Harmon six.
First-year Mustang coach Greg Dean while wanting to get the win, was very pleased with his team’s fight against a tough Mountie squad.
“The kids did a fantastic job tonight to put ourselves in a position to win the game,” he said. “We’ve done a good job over the last few days of being really focused in practice and absorbing what we’re trying to do. When we got in foul trouble it was simply the next man up. The second half we made some adjustments and started to get them on their heels a little bit but we just couldn’t find the bucket a couple of times. I’m proud of them for their for their effort against a really tough Southmont team.”
Coming off a as physical against the Bruins, this marked the second of three games for the Mounties this week as they’ll travel to Bethesda Christian this evening. While it’s not the normal schedule for the Mounties playing three games in five days, Turner noted how this is how the will be like if his team wants to achieve their ultimate goal of winning a sectional title.
“We tried to go pretty light in practice but this is a game that we need to learn from,” Turner said. “We emphasized to the guys that if they don’t come ready to play at this time of the year, then you’re going to get beat. Hopefully we’ll learn from this and it’s nice to learn while you still can win but there hasn’t been much time to enjoy these wins.”
FC falls to 9-10 on the season with the loss. Dean also did credit many players on the team for stepping up and rising to the occasion when their number was called.
“We had some sophomores and seniors and just a lot of different guys step up in many ways tonight,” he said. “Carter Merryman, Seth Martin and Jared McCarthy all played big roles and when get guys like that who are all rowing the boat in the same direction, that’s important.”
The Mustangs will be back in action this evening at home against Parke Heritage.
The Mounties meanwhile improve to 14-3 with the win and will hit the road for a tough contest with Bethesda Christian (12-2).
“Obviously they’re a really good team,” Turner said of the Patriots. “We have to go over there as the third game in five days. This will be good experience for the sectional and hopefully we can get healthy and go over there and play well tomorrow.”
Southmont 42, Fountain Central 36
Score by Quarters
FC 12 6 9 9 - 36
South 13 11 5 13 - 42
Fountain Central (9-10)
FG-FGA FT-FTA PTS: Will Harmon 2-10 2-3 6, Jared McCarthy 0-0 0-0 0, Isaac Gayler 2-6 0-0 4, Luke Foxworthy 1-2 0-0 2, Mason Larkin 4-10 0-0 11, Carter Merryman 0-1 0-0 0, Seth Martin 1-2 0-0 2, Koby Wolf 3-5 0-0 9, Owen Acton 1-1 0-0 2, Ely Thompson. Totals 14-38 2-3 36.
Carson Chadd 5-10 1-2 11, Trip Ward 1-5 0-0 2, Logan Oppy 1-4 2-2 5, EJ Brewer 0-3 3-4 3, Avery Saunders 6-15 4-5 16, Kipon Cornelius 1-1 0-2 2, Carter Hubble 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 15-40 11-17 42.
FC 6-23 (Harmon 0-7, Wolf 3-5, Foxworthy 0-1, Thompson 0-1, Merryman 0-1, Larkin 3-8);
South 1-8 (Ward 0-4, Oppy 1-4).
FC 21 (Harmon 5, Martin 5);
South 35 (Saunders 9, Chadd 8, Oppy 5).
Second Chance Pts:
FC 2; South 10.
FC 13; South 11.
Pts Off TOs:
FC 2; South 13.