By Will Willems
The Western Boone boys basketball team knew that slowing down Southmont’s Devon Burton was going to be a key to the game Wednesday night in the sectional quarterfinals at Frankfort.
Unfortunately, that was easier said than done. The Mountie junior scored 29 points, including 13 in the final quarter and Southmont beat Western Boone for the third time this season, 70-65.
“Just an unbelievable player,” Western Boone head coach Scott McClelland said. “I thought we did a really good job on him in the second quarter; he only had two points. He is just good. He makes plays, he is a good player, and he got some free throws. He is one of the better players in the conference, maybe the best.”
The game was tied at 13 late in the first quarter when Southmont went on a quick 8-2 spurt to take a 21-15 lead. C.J. McMann hit a fadeaway jumper with one second left in the quarter to make it 21-17 at the end of eight minutes.
McClelland said it was just a couple of mistakes early that gave Southmont the lead.
“I thought in the first quarter, we made three big errors on defense,” he said. “We didn’t stay on top of one of the screens and they got us for two 3s and another jumper. That was huge. In the first half we probably gave them six points on our turnovers.”
Southmont took a 25-20 lead early in the second quarter, but a 3-pointer by L.V. Bowden sparked a 10-2 run that gave Western Boone a 30-27 lead with 1:40 left in the half.
After two free throws by Southmont’s Cody Thomas and a lay-in by McMann, Drake Cooksey hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 32 heading into the half.
J.T. Whitaker scored the first four points of the second half to give Western Boone a 36-32 lead, but Southmont came back with a 16-4 run to take a 48-40 lead with 1:30 to go in the third quarter.
Western Boone countered with a basket by Austin Burtner and two McMann free throws to trail by four after three.
For more of this story, read Thursday's Lebanon Reporter.