MONTICELLO — Monticello coach Wayne Sherrer would rather have his team balanced than have one player with a great game.
Sherrer got his wish Friday night as five Billies scored nine-plus points in a 68-39 home win over the Crossett Eagles in an 8-4A Conference game.
“I thought they played well,” Sherrer said of his players. “We had nice balance there from everybody.
“I think we’re better when we don’t have one guy dominating.”
That wasn’t the case on Friday with Chris Robertson scoring a game-high 17 points, Deshawn McGowan adding 14, D.J. Franklin chipping in with 12 — all in the first half — and Bralin Daniels and Randy Stanley finishing with 10 and nine, respectively.
On the other side, Jalen Hudson was the only Crossett (4-9, 2-2 in 8-4A) player to reach double-figures with 15 points.
Sherrer was proud of the Billies (11-3, 4-0) for playing what he called an “even game.”
“In most games we have peaks with some lulls,” he said. “We just played even throughout this game.
“You don’t mind the peaks, but with peaks come valleys.”
Thanks to a pair of three-pointers by Crossett’s Tyler Rindt, the Eagles stayed close during the first quarter. Monticello’s Dontavia Clary, though, hit a big three to end the first and give his team a 17-10 lead heading into the second quarter.
Once again, Crossett hung even with Monticello to begin the second quarter, but just like the first period the Eagles couldn’t see it through. An 8-2 run by the Billies to close the first half helped Monticello establish a 14-point halftime lead (33-19).
McGowan began to exert his power down low in the third quarter. The 6-foot-5 senior scored eight points in the period — the same amount as Crossett’s whole team managed in the quarter.
“Deshawn’s been playing really well lately,” Sherrer said. “When he’s playing well it gives us another dimension.
“If he continues to get better, that will make us a really good team.”
After seeing them play, Eagles coach Wes Corkins thinks the Billies have already reached that level.
“I knew this would be a tough, tough game,” Corkins said. “I think the (Arkansas Democrat-) Gazette has them ranked No. 1 in the state.
“After seeing them here tonight, I’ve got to say that seems pretty darn accurate. They may not be the best team, but they’re definitely in the top three or four. …
“They are going to playing in March, again.”
Crossett 61, Monticello 60
MONTICELLO — Poor free throw and untimely mistakes cost Monticello a chance to even its 8-4A Conference mark.
The Lady Billies, who trailed 51-45 entering the fourth quarter, made just 6 of 12 free throws in the final period and turned the ball over on its final possesion with an opportunity to win the game.
Kyleigh Hodges led Crossett (10-2, 3-1 in 8-4A) with 27 points, while Iesha Couser added 13 and Shaquanna Keith chipped in with 11.
Monticello (6-5, 1-3) was led by Yasmine Franklin’s 16 points. Sedre’Aunna Griddine finished with 12, while Shatia Johnson and Kiara Bolden each added 11.