Southmont will look to add on to their historic season Saturday morning when they take on 20-5 Eastern Hancock in the first game of the Greenfield Central Regional at 10 a.m.
NEW MARKET — With their first sectional title since 1994, Southmont boys basketball now shifts their focus to Saturday’s regional at Greenfield Central.
The path to the sectional title was a difficult one for the Mounties. They got past North Putnam and Parke Heritage on their way to making history.
Coach Jake Turner doesn’t want his team’s season to end Saturday.
“We’re just trying to make sure that we’re as prepared as we can be,” Turner said. “One of the players who was on that 1994 sectional team told me to tell the team that it’s not just about winning the sectional, it’s about making a run and seeing how far you can go.
“It’s our job as coaches to make sure that we’re never satisfied and make sure they’re as prepared as possible when we play Saturday morning. We think we’re more than capable of competing with anybody in the regional and we want to see how far we can go.”
The 19-6 Mounties will take on 20-5 Eastern Hancock in the first game at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Royals defeated Northeastern 61-48 to win the Class 2A Sectional 41 at Hagerstown. They come into the game against the Mounties averaging 66.2 points per game. They average around 10 made threes a game and are led by senior guard Landon O’Neal who averages 16.5 points per game.
The junior brother duo of Jacob and Silas Spaulding also score in double figures for the Royals. Jacob scores 13.5 a contest, while Silas is at 10.9 a game.
On the season the Royals have made 251 threes led by O’Neal who shoots 45% from behind the arc. The Royals shoot 38% as a team.
“They are similar a little bit to North Putnam and Bethesda Christian,” Turner said. “They don’t have a ton of size, but they’re all capable ball handlers who are very fundamentally sound. They only turn it over about six times a game and don’t foul much. We’re going to have to make sure we don’t give them anything easy off of their sets and stop them in transition.
“In the end they’re going to make some threes, but we have to just make them work for everything on the offensive end.”
Meanwhile, the Mounties are led by senior Avery Saunders who averages 19.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. A special note about Saunders is that he is just 11 points shy of 1,000 points for his career.
Sharpshooting senior Logan Oppy is coming off a huge 24-point game against the Wolves in the sectional championship. He usually scores 12.6 for the Mounties. Carson Chadd does the dirty work inside for Southmont and scores 8.8 points while grabbing 7.4 rebounds.
The Mounties won the Montgomery County title, their first Sagamore Conference title in school history, set the school record for wins and now their first sectional title since 1994.
“We’re trying to find that balance,” he said. “We want to relish in what we’ve accomplished while also not being satisfied. We’d love to go over there on Saturday and hopefully win two games. To start, all we wanted was the sectional, and now the regional is right here in front of us and we want that as well. We just hope to continue to play as well as we did last week and put forth our best effort.”
The other two teams to play at Greenfield Central are University (15-9) and Triton Central (13-11).
The winner of both semi-final games will play for the regional championship at 8 p.m. Saturday.