Southmont comes in as the hosts of the Class 2A Sectional 44 Tournament and are considered one of the favorites to cut down the nets again this season.
The Southmont Mounties boys basketball team has yet again put themselves in a position to bring home a sectional title. South concluded the regular season with a 15-7 record and are considered one of the favorites to cut down the nets for what would be a second straight season. The Mounties get to host the Class 2A Sectional 44 Tournament which begins this evening, however South won’t play until Wednesday in game one that evening against North Putnam.
The Cougars and Mounties met up all the way back on Nov. 22 in the season opener for each team. North Putnam that evening came away with a 46-36 win on their home court. South is a completely different team than from that game as are the Cougars. Since then the Mounties have returned junior Carter Hubble to the starting lineup and come into the sectional winners of five out of their last seven.
North Putnam comes in with a record 14-9 and is averaging 52 points per game while giving up 53. Senior Brayden Monnett lead the Cougars in scoring with 12.8 points per game. Junior Nolan Hackleman also scores in double figures averaging 10.9 points per contest. Sophomore Kaden Helderman also provides the Cougars with 9.5 a game.
Southmont coach Jake Turner knows that both teams have changed since that opening night game over three months ago.
“The biggest thing for us making sure we get healthy and prepare ourselves mentally,” he said. “That’s our number one priority. It’ll likely come down to who executes their gameplan better and does the little things well. Hosting is always nice because it allows us to more efficient with how we spend our time. We’ve only lost twice at home this year so we’re going to feel a lot more comfortable getting to play in our own gym.”
Senior big man Carson Chadd leads the Mounties with nearly 12 points a game (11.9) and grabs 8.7 rebounds along with dishing out three assists. Fellow senior EJ Brewer scores 10.4 a game to go along with 4.8 rebounds. Junior Trip Ward scores right at 10 a game for the Mounties while Hubble in his return to action has averaged 7.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in nine games.
Coming in as the defending sectional champions and once again one of the favorites this year on top of hosting, one might believe that there is a little extra pressure for the Mounties. Turner believes that pressure is there for every team in this upcoming sectional.
“You’re playing for your season and for some your careers when you get to this point,” he said. “So in that aspect there’s pressure on every team. These are the games that boys look forward to growing up. We’re going to continue to emphasize to our guys to not be nervous, and be excited and relish these moments.”
The winner between the Mounties and Cougars will get the winner between Riverton Parke and Cloverdale in Friday night’s second semi-final beginning at roughly