ARKADELPHIA — Monticello used a 12-6 run in the third quarter for separation and defeated Arkadelphia 56-39 Friday night at the Bill Vining Arena at Ouachita Baptist University in the semifinals of the 4A South Region Tournament.
“That’s how it is this time of the year,” Monticello head coach Wayne Sherrer said. “They played well and they played hard.”
Sophomore Christian Robertson gave the Billies a 27-20 lead with 7:42 left in the third when he completed a three-point play.
Senior guard Devon Jackson followed with a layup and senior Torry Butler made an easy lay-up off an Arkadelphia turnover to give the Billies a 10-point lead with 5:15 left in the third.
By the end of the third quarter, Monticello led 39-26.
“You expect this kind of game this time of the year,” Sherrer said. “That’s just how it is. You are playing quality teams all the time.
“That’s just how it goes.”
At the beginning of the second quarter, Monticello led 12-7. But Arkadelphia used a 7-2 run to tie the game with 4:20 left in the first half.
Junior Kris Oliver made a pair of free throws and junior center Mark Brazile grabbed an offensive rebound and putback to cut the deficit to 14-11 with 6:02 left in the second quarter.
Senior Cantrell Lewis made one of two from the line, then stole a pass and made an easy lay-up to tie the game.
Monticello ended the run when Robertson hit a three-pointer. By halftime, Monticello led 24-20.
“We had a few foul issues with our point guard,” Sherrer said. “It makes things tough. But they ground it out, so that’s a good thing.”
Robertson led Monticello with 14 points. Jackson contributed with 10 points and junior Deshawn McGowan chipped in with six.
Monticello will face Central Arkansas Christian today in the championship game at 7:30 p.m.
CAC defeated Malvern 48-43 on Friday.
“They do a good job and they are real disciplined,” Sherrer said of CAC. “They get after it and make their free throws.
“They are real solid. It is going to be a good challenge.”
Arkadelphia will play in the consolation game today at 1:30 p.m.