Photo by Lori PoteetLacey Garrett finished Saturday with 27 points, a busted lip, a cut over her eye, and – most importantly – a county championship.
Photo by Lori Poteet

Lacey Garrett finished Saturday with 27 points, a busted lip, a cut over her eye, and – most importantly – a county championship.
In the game of basketball, if you shoot a better percentage, and outrebound, your opponent, you have a very good chance of winning. Unfortunately for the Southmont Lady Mounties, those two stats didn't lead to a win, as the Lady Athenians sent their seniors out on a winning note, claiming the County Championship, 53-40 Saturday night on their home court.

Southmont played inspired basketball from the opening tip. They shot 67 percent from the floor in the first quarter, including 2-2 from distance, to take a 10-9 lead after one.

"We talked about playing with heart but not emotion," said Mountie coach Susan McVay. "We knew there weren't a lot of believers, with us coming in at 3-13, that thought we could hang with them. I've got nothing but pride for the way the girls played tonight."

Both teams had to battle foul trouble in the first half. Lacey Garrett left the game with two fouls, and a bloody eye, in the first 1:45 of the game. She would sit the remainder of the quarter.

Aarika McKinsey and Brittany Barrett picked up their second fouls with 6:00 remaining, and the Mounties holding a 12-9 lead.

With Crawfordsville holding a 21-20 lead, Southmont's Avery Hess hit a three, with 0:10 remaining, to give the Mounties their last lead, at 23-21. Garrett would counter that three, with one of her own as the buzzer sounded to give the Athenians a 24-23 halftime lead.

The Mounties shot 50 percent, 7-of-14, from the field in the first half, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. Crawfordsville shot 30 percent, 8-of-27, from the field, and 38 percent from long range.

Athenian Coach Tony Thomas said of the Mounties torrid first half shooting, "We overextended our defense. We were jumping, and they went right by us. When you let someone go by, our post players have to help, and it allowed McKinsey to get open looks."

The teams battled to a 12-12 third quarter.

Crawfordsville opened up the fourth on an 8-0 run, before a baseline jumper by Barrett. A basket by McKinsey cut the lead to five, 44-39, soon after, but they would get no closer, as Garrett, and Erika Brooks, would hit 9-11 down the stretch for the 53-40 victory.

"I think the emotion of the night was overwhelming," said Thomas. "We haven't played for a county championship in four years, and it showed.

"Susan did a nice job," continued Thomas. "They played great defense and came out inspired. We hit some shots in the fourth quarter to pull away, but it could've easily gone the other way."

Crawfordsville was led by Garrett's 27 and Brooks 10. Paige Schueren came off the bench for seven points, and Jazmine Hall had seven boards. Crawfordsville shot 35 percent from the field and had 26 boards.

"We ran everything we asked of them for three quarters, and most of the fourth," said McVay. "Give the Athenians credit, Lacey's a heck of a player, and they're a veteran team. Our girls gave it their all.

"We played a solid third quarter, and we had to foul at the end," added McVay. "The final score isn't indicative of the game."

Southmont was led by McKinsey's 14 points and eight boards. Reagan Case chipped in nine and Barrett eight. The Mounties shot 40 percent from the field and had 29 rebounds.

Crawfordsville (10-8, 2-3 SAC) travels to North Vermillion Tuesday.

Southmont (3-14, 0-4 SAC) will travel to County, and Sagamore Conference, rival North Montgomery on Monday. This will be a rematch of their Sugar Creek Classic matchup that North won 53-42. They will then host Covington Tuesday and will honor their lone senior, McKinsey, at halftime of the varsity contest.