VEEDERSBURG - Southmont got the perfect sectional warmup Friday night when it traveled to Fountain Central. Both squads played with playoff intensity and the Mounties were one questionable call away from having a shot at tying the game with less than 10 seconds left.

The Mounties were down seven when they started fouling the Mustangs. Twice, the Mustangs missed 1-of-2 from the line and on both occasions Southmont freshman Cam Chadd answered with a 3-ball at the other end, cutting the lead to two points. On the next foul, the Mustang fell to the floor and Southmont was whistled for a questionable intentional foul, meaning two shots and the ball for Fountain Central.

Again, the Mustangs hit only one of the freebies, but since they got the ball back, Southmont had to foul again. Fountain Central senior Koby Pierce nailed both this time, sealing the deal, 50-45.

"I coached very hard tonight on purpose. That's not the normal level for me, but I wanted to show our guys we could play with those guys," Southmont mentor Jon Sparks said. "If we get the opportunity to play them at home for the sectional championship, our guys feel really confident. They aren't down at all. They're really confident."

Chadd played a large part in keeping Southmont in the game on offense. He scored all 11 Southmont points in the third quarter, added eight in the fourth and finished with 26.

"We're going to have to keep finding ways to get (Chadd) loose. He had the looks tonight and hit him," Sparks said.

Defensively, it was a senior that sparked the Mounties. Nathan Jent was tasked with guarding Fountain Central's best player, Ethan Woodrow. He limited Woodrow to 2-of-11 from the field and 10 points.

"(Jent) did a really good job tonight. After the game he asked to see the stats and he never asks to see the stats. He wanted to see what Woodrow did," Sparks said. "That's the kind of unselfishness and pride in sacrifice that makes this team really special and gives us a chance to win next week."

Kaleb Swick added 10 points and 13 boards for Southmont, including six points in the fourth quarter.

The game was a defensive battle from the start and stayed that way until late in the fourth. Southmont stuck around in the first two quarters, but the Mustangs threatened to pull away coming out of the halftime break.

Already leading by four, Fountain Central scored the first five points of the second half to gain their largest lead at nine points. Chadd then went to work, sending Southmont an 11-2 run to tie things at 29.

Southmont closes the regular season at 5-16. The Mounties will act as hosts for the sectional next week, which starts Tuesday with Seeger and South Vermillion. Fountain Central (17-8) will play Clinton Central in the second game Tuesday night. The Mounties will play the winner of the first game on Friday night at 6 p.m.