DOVER — Playing their second straight game without leading scorer and rebounder, Belle Miller, Southmont girls basketball looked to pick up their first Sagamore Conference win of the season Monday in a re-scheduled game against Western Boone.
Not only would the Mounties be without Miller, but Chelsea Veach and Jade Gann also would be unavailable for the Mounties and the short-handed Mounties would fall to the Stars 42-36.
One person who did step up for Southmont in the loss was Sophomore Olivia Gray as in her first career start would lead Southmont with 11 points. Dori Frederick also scored in double figures for the Mounties with 10.
“Olivia has really been shining for us the last few weeks,” Southmont coach Dan Burkman said of his sophomore. “Tonight you really got to see that for all four quarters. She just gives us a little spark and energy that you don’t really expect out of her.”
The Mounties, who fall to 6-9 (0-4 SAC), kept the game close all night trailing 12-10 after the opening quarter and just 20-16 at the half. The four point deficit would follow them into the final quarter as the Stars still led 29-25. Despite trailing, Burkman kept his confidence high with his team for the entire game.
“I never really thought like we were going to lose,” he said. “We were there all night, but got into some foul trouble that hurt us a little bit. Dori did what we expected out of her and then our three sophomores in Cheyenne (Shaw), DeLo (DeLorean Mason), and Olivia really played well. DeLo does so much that doesn’t show up in the box score. She’s always around the ball and knocking it loose.”
Katheryn Rutherford led all scorers in the game with 15 points for the Stars who improve to 8-9 (3-2 SAC). Emmy Roys chipped in nine points also in the win.
Southmont did good things on offense against the Stars, just weren’t able to finish at the rim when they got there. Burkman was very pleased with how his team orchestrated things on that end of the floor.
“I thought it was by far our best execution of the year,” Burkman said. “We are finally starting to get it and you can see it, now we just have to finish when we get there.”
The Mounties conference slate will continue on Thursday when they travel to Frankfort before hosting Crawfordsville on Saturday. While they want to get back on the winning track and have a few games left before the post-season, Burkman has his eyes set on the bigger goal that lies ahead.
“At this point with where we’re at and everything we’ve been through, my focus and I’m trying to get them to start focusing on the sectional,” he said. “We’re using those games in-between to get ready for that and hone both sides of the ball. Hopefully we stay healthy and try not to get too much wear and tear for when sectional does roll around.”