The Paper photo by Codey Emerson 
Sophomore Isabelle Miller goes through her free throw routine during the Mounties season opening 63-37 loss at Tri-West on Thursday
The Paper photo by Codey Emerson Sophomore Isabelle Miller goes through her free throw routine during the Mounties season opening 63-37 loss at Tri-West on Thursday

LIZTON – The Southmont girl’s basketball team got their season started on Thursday night as the Lady Mounties opened up the season on the road against Sagamore Conference opponent Tri-West. Overall the game didn’t go the way the Mounties would have liked as they were defeated by a tough Bruins team by a final score of 63-37. 

Head Coach Dustin Oakley despite the score was very optimistic about how his team played in their first game of the season. 

“Their press style of defense it hard to break and I thought we did a much better job this season than last year,” Oakley said. “I told the girls that we had the right looks and the right vision of what we wanted to do, we just didn’t make the right passes tonight. We know that they’re an athletic group and their going to come after us. They did hit a ton of jump shots tonight and that’s what ended up killing us and overall we’ll live that. Inside I thought we were very physical and I didn’t think there was anything easy for them and I feel pretty happy about that.” 

Junior Addison Charles had a game-high 18 points as she was able to knock down four of her six attempts from three point range. Oakley talked about how she was able to step up and lead the way for the Mounties in their first game.

“It just simply comes down to reps,” Oakley said. “She was able to execute many of the things that we’ve worked on in practice like catch and shoot, one dribble and shoot, all that kind of stuff. “She does a ton of work on her own and she was confident tonight. That’s how we want to play especially if we can get the ball to any of our guards in transition, we want them to fire away. I was very proud of her effort tonight.”

The Mounties ended up out rebounding the Bruins, on the night but just weren’t able to put the ball in the basket. Junior Sidney Veatch recorded double digit rebounds as she tallied 11 total (six offensive, five defensive). 

With playing a tough opponent out of the gate in the Bruins who went 16-7 last season, Oakley thinks this will end up benefitting his girls when they get into the grind of conference play. 

“I love playing our conference schedule with us being a 2A school,” Oakley said. “I think it prepares us well for sectional play. If we compete the way we did tonight I think we can go out and get a lot of wins this season. It’s tough opening with a conference opponent, but we’re used to it. Our attitudes and mindset was in the right place tonight. We came prepared to play and that was awesome to be around. We didn’t quit and I’m very pleased with what we’ve done in the last week and a half and we made some progression tonight.” 

What also plagued the Mounties in the season opening loss was that they did leave many points at the free throw line. The Mounties shot 13-25 from the charity stripe and Oakley talked about the team’s struggles from the line. 

“I did the girls that if we add six to ten more points by hitting our free-throws, then the scoreboard may not look as bad in the end. It is the first game so we do have to improve our conditioning a little bit. A lot of our girls played a ton of minutes out there tonight so maybe it was a little bit of fatigue, but we do have to get better from the line.”

The loss for the Mounties starts their season with a record of 0-1 (0-1 SAC). The team returns to action on Saturday where they will play their season opner as they host Clinton Central starting at 2 p.m.