The Paper photo by Lori Poteet 
Jacob Budd led the Mounties with six rebounds in Saturday’s championship game against WeBo.
The Paper photo by Lori Poteet
Jacob Budd led the Mounties with six rebounds in Saturday’s championship game against WeBo.

LINDEN – Western Boone and Southmont stood toe-to-toe Saturday, taking their best shots for a chance to take home the Sugar Creek Classic paddle.

The Stars used another good shooting night and a strong third quarter to hold off the Mounties 57-50 to win their first title since 2012.

“I thought the guys played really well,” Star coach JR Howell said. “I thought we played with more heart, intensity and focus this weekend.”

Western Boone scored the first six points of the game before the Mounties went on a 9-2 run to take a 9-8 lead after one.

The Stars opened the second quarter on a 10-0 run to lead 18-9. However, Kaleb Swick converted a 3-point play at the end of the second to help cut the lead to 25-23 Western Boone at the half.

“We did some really good things in the first half executing our game plan,” Sparks said. “We knew at halftime that we were close and we came out of the locker room confident.”

The Mounties were able to cut the lead to 31-29 at the 3:18 mark of the third. However, back-to-back 3’s by Marshall Hodgen and Zach McMann gave the Stars a 37-30 lead headed to the fourth.

“We were outscored 12-7 in the third and that really hurt us,” Sparks added. “We need to find a way to be more confident on the offensive end.”

The Mounties cut the lead to four, 46-42, with just under 2:00 remaining but couldn’t get any closer as Star Kaleb McCloskey scored their final nine points.

The Stars, who continued their torrid shooting, hit 76 percent inside the 3-point line.

Western Boone (6-5, 1-2 SAC) was led by tournament MVP, McCloskey’s 18 points and 8 boards. All-tournament player, Marshall Hodgen contributed 11, while Tom Hendrix had nine.

The Mounties had two on the all-tourney team, Camden Chadd finished with 20 points, while Swick had 15 before fouling out in the fourth.

Southmont (6-5, 0-3 SAC) is back in action Friday when they travel to Seeger and they will play host to West Vigo Saturday.

“I’m really disappointed for our guys,” Mountie coach Jon Sparks said. “We came in confident tonight and we thought our guys were playing well. We just didn’t get it done.”