Billies Defeat Pirates, Drew Central Retains Showdown Trophy

In front of a packed crowd at Dan Coston Fieldhouse on the campus of Monticello High School, the Monticello Billies closed out the evening with a 57-50 victory over cross town rivals the Drew Central Pirates, but it was not enough to claim the Showdown in M-Town trophy as the Monticello Junior Billies and Lady Billies fell to Drew Central in the earlier contests.

Tipping off first on the night was the Junior Billies and Junior Pirates. Drew Central was able to edge out Monticello in the first quarter 10-9 and increased the lead to 26-19 by the half. The Pirates continued to outpace the Junior Billies in the third quarter, besting Monticello 15-9 in the quarter to take a 41-28 lead into the final quarter of play.

In the fourth quarter, Monticello began chipping away at the Drew Central lead behind Quay Rhodes’ nine fourth quarter points, pulling within three points of the Junior Pirates with under two minutes remaining in the contest. The Junior Pirates were able to hold off the Junior Billie comeback despite being outscored in the quarter 16-8 to secure the 49-44 victory and to give Drew Central a one game advantage in the battle for the rivalry trophy.

Quay Rhodes was the top scorer for the Junior Billies with 21 points and Chris Shaw led the Junior Pirates with 15.

Next up was the Lady Billies and Lady Pirates. Drew Central took an early lead in the contest and was able to control the game from the outset outscoring Monticello 13-5 in the first quarter, 21-7 in the second for a 34-12 lead at the half, 22-13 in the third quarter, and 2-1 in the fourth to take a 58-26 victory and with the Drew Central win secured the Showdown in M-Town trophy.

Leading the way for the Lady Pirates was Olivia Young with 20 points, including connecting on six three-pointers. Darbee Forte scored 18, Saniya Durden with 11, and Gracie Connard with three. Samaria Webb, Jalia Bunn, and Meleri Herman had two points each.

For the Lady Billies, TK Miller led the way in scoring with seven points followed by Aniyah Ferrell with six. Yaniah McCoy and Ka’Symone Trotter each scored four, Ta’Niya Jordan with three, and Jay’vionna Parks rounding out the scoring with two.

In the final game of the evening, the Monticello Billies was edged out in scoring in the first quarter by Drew Central 11-10 but was able to gain control of the contest in the second quarter to outscore the Pirates 20-12 to take a 30-23 advantage into the locker room at the half.

A closely contested third quarter, the Billies were able to maintain the pace by outscoring Drew Central 13-11 for a 43-34 advantage heading into the final quarter of play.

In the fourth, the Pirates started to chip away at the Monticello lead behind two three-pointers by Stevon Hall and one three by Kevin Stain. The Pirates pulled within five points with around a minute and a half to play, but the Billies were able to hold off the Pirates controlling the ball and the clock to secure a 57-50 victory.

For Monticello, the Billie had three players scoring in double-digits with Keshaun Pippen leading the way with 15 points followed by KJ Burks with 12. Shannon Strickland finished the night with 10 points. Jalin Green added eight, Nichalon Smith with five, DeWunya Lambert with four, and Nick Smith rounding out the scoring with 3.

For Drew Central, Stevon Hall led the way with 12 points, all on three-point shots. Travarus Shead scored 10, Kevin Stain with nine, Tristian Butler added eight, Trenton Eubanks with four, and Antoni Remley rounding out the scoring with one point.

Next up for both schools will be holiday tournaments during the Christmas break.

The Monticello Lady Billies will travel to Little Rock to participate in the Little Rock Episcopal Tournament beginning on Thursday, Dec. 26. The Lady Billies will face off with Little Rock Mills in the first contest scheduled for a 6:45 p.m. tip off.

The Drew Central Lady Pirates and Pirates, along with the Monticello Billies will be participating in the annual Commercial Bank Holiday Tournament being held at Drew Central

The Lady Pirates first contest is scheduled against Smackover on Friday, Dec. 27. The Pirates are also scheduled to face Smackover on the same night.

The Monticello Billies will also see action on Dec. 27 facing off against Lakeside. The holiday tournament with be played on Friday and Saturday with the finals being held on Monday, Dec. 30.

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