P.O. Female Athlete of the Week: Olivia Mottern
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Both the McConnellsburg and Southern Fulton girls basketball teams look vastly different than they did at last year's District 5 Class 1A championship game.
But despite various roster changes, one thing remained the same for Southern Fulton - Olivia Mottern.
Mottern was the catalyst for Southern Fulton in two Sidling Hill League/Inter-County Conference victories last week, putting up 20-point performances against both Northern Bedford, and in a District 5 Championship rematch with McConnellsburg.
She is the Public Opinion Female Athlete of the Week.
"I think she is the most well-rounded player in District 5 that we see," Southern Fulton coach Meagan Mellott said. "Coming into this season she came back as the only true starter for the past three years and she's been feeling a lot of pressure to contribute not only the points, but defensively, too. I thought she did a really great job letting the game come to her, and she trusted her teammates and they stepped up big."
Although Mottern averages just over 20 points per game, her offensive effort last week pushed the Indians to victory in both games, as SF outscored Northern Bedford and McConnellsburg by a combined seven points.
Mottern scored the game-winning bucket on a putback with two seconds left on the clock against Northern Bedford, and put forth a solid defensive performance to limit McConnellsburg's Bronwyne Mellott to just 19 points - for just the second game in which she had been limited to fewer than 20 points this season.
"NBC was an interesting game for sure," Mottern said. "We came up a little big flat and they shot really well from the outside. When I saw the shot (at the end) I just thought, 'I have to get the rebound if it doesn't go in,' because I really did not want to go into overtime. In the end we really buckled down and played a lot harder and that gave us a lot of momentum going into McConnellsburg."
The Southern Fulton-McConnellsburg rivalry has become a guessing game of late as to which team will come out on top, but after the big win over NBC, Mottern said the team faced the Spartans nervous, but confident.
"There's definitely that question of which way it is going to go because they beat us twice last year and we won in the district game," Mottern said. "We had a really good practice the night before, but we were all nervous the day of. But we handled ourselves really well and we went in with confidence and we weren't backing down, and attacked the whole game."
Olivia Mottern, Southern Fulton
Parents: Brian and Carolyn Mottern
Other interests: Mottern plays volleyball for Southern Fulton and will be a first-year member of the track & field team in the spring ... She is a former softball player and likes to hang out with friends and play with her cats Snickers and Summer.
Surprising fact: Before every game Mottern and a couple teammates will play PIG.
Favorite team: USA Olympic gymnastics team
Athletes most admired: Simone Biles and Steph Curry
Statistics: Mottern has scored 20 points in three straight games, leading the Indians to two big SHL/ICC wins last week in tight battles with Northern Bedford and McConnellsburg ... She scored the game-winning putback against NBC with two seconds left, and shot an astounding 70 percent from the field against McConnellsburg ... For the week, she had 10 rebounds, two steals and two blocks.