ARKADELPHIA — A poor shooting performance from Monticello ultimately ended the Billies’ chances at the No. 1 seed as they lost 44-34 to Central Arkansas Christian in the 4A South Region final Saturday night inside Bill Vining Arena.
“They played well and we didn’t get the ball in the hole,” Monticello head coach Wayne Sherrer said. “We didn’t play a very good first half, I didn’t think.”
In the fourth quarter, Monticello didn’t score from the field until 2:54 left in the game when senior guard Mike Jones hit a three-pointer. But by that time, it was too late as CAC had already built a nine-point lead by that time.
“(CAC) does a real good job of moving the basketball and passing it,” Sherrer said. “They kind of got us chasing.”
Senior Torry Butler, who usually leads the Billies in scoring, did not score at all Saturday night. He spent most of the second half on the bench.
“He didn’t have his typical game,” Sherrer said.
Senior Devon Jackson’s layup at the end of the second quarter gave Monticello a 20-16 lead heading into the break.
In the third quarter, sophomore Dontavius Clary hit a three-pointer from the corner to give Monticello a six-point lead with a little over three minutes left.
Then the shooting went cold as CAC used a 16-0 run, stretching from the third quarter to midway through the fourth quarter to take a 36-24 lead.
“Give them all the credit,” Sherrer said. “They played well. Some of our guys didn’t show up they way they should have.”
With the loss – Monticello’s first since December – the Billies earn the No. 2 seed for the 4A state tournament, which will be held in Cave City.
Clary led the Billies with 11 points. Sophomore Christian Robertson contributed with seven points. Jackson finished with six points.
For CAC, Travis Byrne led with 14 points. Senior Josh Holland chipped in with seven points.