GREENCASTLE – It didn’t take but until the first game of the season for the Southmont to play in a close game. The Mounties made the trip to Greencastle on Tuesday, and it was a battle for a full 32 minutes but in the end the Mounties held on for a 40-37 season-opening win over the Tiger Cubs.
With 55 seconds left in the game Evie Briones made the score 39-37 after Southmont (1-0) held a 39-31 lead with just over two minutes to go. A pair of Mountie turnovers allowed the Tiger Cubs to chip away and they even had a chance to tie the game but couldn’t convert. Chelsea Veatch was able to knock down one of two free-throws and then proceeded to block the game-tying three-pointer with just .5 seconds left. Greencastle was unable to get a shot off and the Mounties walked away with the win.
”I knew we’d still be a little sloppy but at the end of the day our girls never stopped fighting,” Southmont coach Dan Burkman said. “They were still doing the right things, so I know in the long run that’s going to pay off. I’m proud of all the girls for their effort.”
In her first career start, junior Chloe Jenkins led the Mounties with a double-double notching 15 points and 11 points. DeLorean Mason and Cheyenne Shaw both added eight points with Saylor Woods scoring four, Chelsea Veatch three, and Olivia Gray rounded out the scoring with two for Southmont.
“I was very pleased with how Chloe stepped up tonight,” Burkman said of the junior. “To be honest I didn’t expect that from her tonight so now I know she has that in her. She had an awesome game. If she continues that then we’ll be in really good shape.”
Two things that did plague the Mounties were the turnovers and free-throws. South turned the ball over 33 total times and shot just 10-23 from the foul line. Greencastle (0-1) did also turn it over 31 times as both teams struggled maintaining possession. Burkman knows those two things will have to be worked out moving forward.
“The free-throw struggles are disappointing,” Burkman said. “It feels like that’s something we’ve worked on the last two years. Missing those are a big pet peeve of mine. We’ll have to be a little more serious in practice when we work on them. The turnovers are still from I think us getting our feet back underneath us. All those things will work themselves out. You can tell we’re still a little tired.”
The Mounties got the luxury of playing a close game in their first game of the season. They were able to work on and see late game situations play out live. Down the stretch they played solid defense, rebounded well and those things according to Burkman will pay off down the stretch.
“The best thing about that was we only played six girls,” Burkman said. “We obviously didn’t play many girls and as I said they were tired, but they hung on. The goal hopefully is that when we get more up to speed, we can go seven or eight girls in the rotation, but right now those six girls played their tails off.”
Greencastle had two girls in double-figures as Emma Hunter led all scorers in the game with 20. Briones added in 14. Bailey Brown has two points and Stephanie Morales scored one.
The Mounties will be back in action on Thursday when they open up Sagamore Conference play as they host Tri-West. The Bruins always poise a challenge but Burkman knows his team will be up to the test.
“It will be a good barometer and measuring stick for where we’re at,” he said. “We’ll be up for the challenge. Things may look a little different because it’s Tri-West and our girls will be fired up.”
SOUTHMONT 40, GREENCASTLE 37
Score By Quarter
SM 7 7 10 16 - 40
GC 6 6 11 14 - 37
Southmont (1-0): FG-FGA FT-FTA PTS
Saylor Woods 0-2 4-5 4, Olivia Gray 1-3 0-0 2, Chelsea Veatch 1-8 1-4 3, Cheyenne Shaw 4-5 0-0 8, DeLorean Mason 2-10 2-4 8, Chloe Jenkins 6-11 3-9 15; Totals 13-39 10-23 40
Greencastle (0-1): Ali Dobbs 0-3 0-0 0, Emma Hunter 7-20 3-5 20, Aleeyah Johnson 0-6 0-1 0, Zoey Doan 0-0 0-0 0, Bailey Brown 1-1 0-0 2, Evie Briones 5-13 2-3 14, Madi Plew 0-0 0-0 0, Stephanie Morales 0-0 1-2 1; Totals 13-42 6-11 37
Rebounds: SM 33 (Jenkins 11 Veatch 9), GC 28 (Hunter 11)
Turnovers: SM 33, GC 31