LIZTON – Southmont’s basketball team stands on the threshold of history after a 50-39 Sagamore Conference win over Tri-West.
The Mounties win moves them to 5-1 in the conference, tied for first with one game to go. South has never won the Sagamore championship in boys hoops.
The victory also makes them 13-3 on the season, which ties the ‘84-85 team for the best 16-game start in school history.
One last historical note – the win ends a nine-game losing streak to the Bruins, who fall to 9-7 overall and 2-3 in the league. The last South win in the series, and the last win overall, was a 67-60 victory at Tri-West almost exactly a decade ago (Feb 3, 2012).
It was a combined effort for South in the win, as they jumped out to a 6-0 lead and never trailed.
A 7-0 run in the second quarter expanded the lead, the first 10 points of the the second half put some serious distance on the scoreboard, and a bunch of free throws in the fourth secured the victory.
“I thought in the first three quarters, we had a nearly flawless execution of our game plan,” said South coach Jake Turner. “We got inside, we got hot and hit some shots, and we showed great patience, we had great spacing and we had great cutting (away from the ball).”
The Mounties controlled their offensive flow and kept the ruins away from the rim. In the first half, South had an 18-2 advantage in the paint. In the second, they allowed another single inside bucket until a late run off some turnovers scored four times.
They also took great care of the ball, with only seven turnovers in the first three quarters, and a total of 13 for the game.
They dished the ball from the first possession to the last, as nine of the 13 made field goals had an assist.
And they controlled the boards,finishing plus-seven.
The starters all took turns being the guy.
EJ Brewer had three buckets in the first quarter, finding open spots under the rim. The junior finished with 10 points.
Avery Saunders scored eight of his team-best 13 in the second quarter, including a dunk on a put-back. The senior had five of his nine rebounds in the second.
Logan Oppy had five of his eight poits in the second half, and five of his eight rebounds.
Trip Ward scored all seven of his counters in the second half, including two big free throws down the stretch.
Carson Chadd had four points in the fourth quarter, and six second-half rebounds, as the junior had his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 boards.
“Avery and Carson handle the ball so well for us,” Turner noted. “With their size, they are tough to guard. Brewer was cutting from the corners, and we knew they would get him the ball if and when he got open. We just showed so much patience on offense and executed so well. I’m so proud of this team.”
The Bruins were never ale to get their offense in gear, and lots of that was due to South’s defense.
Their leading scorer coming in, Ethan Depinet, was held without a field goal. He had four three throws and finished nine points under his average.
Their leading scorer was Sam Goodin with 14 points, a dozen more than his average, but it took four three-pointers out of 10 tries to make that happen.
“We had three keys,” Turner said of the win. “We had to take care of the ball, we had to be patient on both ends, control the offensive boards and win the paint. We figured we could let them shoot from outside.”
The Bruins finished 14-of-49 from the field, 5-of-28 from long range and 6-of-10 from the line. They had 28 rebounds, led by Alex Covey with seven. They had nine turnovers.
The Mounties were 18-of-36 from the floor, 3-of-7 from deep and 11-of-17 from the line.
“It’s the first time we have beaten Danville and Tri-West in the same year since 1996,” Turner said. “This is a culmination of a lot of years of work for a lot these guys, especially the seniors. “Our guys know that if they play well, we can beat the Danville’s and Tri-Wests of the world. We stayed composed and stayed poised, and that paid off with this big win.”
The Mounties have one conference game left, at Frankfort on Fe. 18, with a chance to earn at least a share of that first Sagamore championship.
There are games before that however, starting with a home match up with Fountain Central Thursday and a trip to Bethesda Christian on Friday.
Southmont 50, Tri-West 39
Score by Quarters
Southmont 10 13 16 11 - 50
Tri-West 6 8 8 17 - 39
Southmont (13-3, 5-1 SAC)
FG-FGA FT-FTA PTS: Carson Chadd 4-6 2-3 10, Kion Cornelius 1-2 0-2 2, Logan Oppy 2-4 2-4 8, EJ Brewer 4-9 2-2 10, Avery Saunders 5-11 3-4 13, Carter Hubble 0-0 0-0 0, Trip Ward 2-4 2-2 7, Nick Scott 0-0 0-0 0; Totals 18-36 11-17 50.
Tri-West (9-7, 2-3)
Dylan Bear 2-11 0-0 4, Ethan Depinet 0-4 4-6 4, Alex Covey 4-8 0-2 8, Max Robertson 1-6 0-0 .2, Drew Miller 2-7 0-0 4, Sam Goodin 4-10 2-2 14, Ian Rench 1-3 0-0 3, Grant Oldham 0-0 0-0 0, Karan Deep 0-0 0-0 0; Totals; 14-49 6-10 39
3-Pt Shooting: Southmont 3-7 (Oppy 2, Ward), Tri-West 5-28 (Goodin 4, Rench) .
Rebounding: Southmont 35 (Chadd 10, Saunders 9, Oppy 8), Tri-West 28 (Covey 7).
Turnovers: Southmont 13, Tri-West 9