LIZTON – A dismal 16-2 start, spurred by six first quarter turnovers, gave Tri-West the momentum it needed to crush conference cellar-dweller Southmont. 71-50 at Tri-West Thursday night.

In what could have been a match-up of the Sagamore Athletic Conference's hot-shooting sophomore guards Tyler Watson of Tri-West and Cam Chadd of Southmont, instead was a tale of the teams' junior big men.

The Mounties were led by Kaleb Swick's 15 points and his counterpart Bruins' swing man Peyton Hendershot had 16 in support of teammate Tyler Watson's game high 17. Chadd did record 10 points but they came on 2-of-10 shooting.

“You have to give No. 22 [Matthew] Wilson credit for getting after Cam,” Mounties coach Jon Sparks cited. “Tri-West's team defense is so aggressive, we just can't simulate that in practice.”

The Mounties were a dreary 2-for-13 in the first quarter, but shooting percentage aside, it was the lack of early effectiveness that troubled the fourth-year mentor the most.

“We said we were going to come out with energy in the first quarter, and we got down by 14,” Spark said. “When we did get some energy in the second quarter, we played them even.” Each team recorded 23 points in an active second period.

The Bruins also got double-digit scoring efforts from Matthew Chinn and Nick Rabe, each with 10, and in all nine Bruins contributed to the scoring. Southmont's Andrew Travers scored 11 in the loss.

Tri-West (12-5, 3-1 SAC) still has a shot at a piece of the conference title, but only if they can upset No. 10 Danville later this month, and gets a Lebanon upset in their final SAC outing. Southmont (8-10, 0-6 SAC) dropped their third straight to the Bruins in a game where nothing came easy to the Mounties.

“We've got to find a way to get Chadd some more shots and we have to gain defensive intensity,” Sparks said. “But that is a part of learning and growing, and seeing what we can become.”