Ethan Miller hit a three-pointer with 4:04 left in the game that proved to be the game winner as Monticello held off a late rally by Paxton-Buckley-Loda for a 49-47 win Friday night in non-conference boys basketball action from Monticello High School.
Miller drained five three-pointers but none were bigger than his three from the left-wing that gave the Sages a 44-42 advantage after the Panthers came back from a 24-13 halftime deficit.
After Ryan Reeder made a free throw to give the Sages a 45-42 lead, Miller hit another three from almost the same spot on the left wing that extended the lead to 48-42.
With 46 seconds left, Trey VanWinkle made a three-pointer that cut the PBL deficit to 49-47. Alek Bundy missed the front end of a one-and-the-bonus giving the Panthers a chance but Drake Schrodt’s three from the top of the key was airballed and went out of bounce and PBL could not buy a whistle to foul Monticello on the inbound and the Sages ran out the final 25 seconds for the win.
Neither team started fast, as PBL led just 7-4 after the first quarter but Monticello started making shots, led by Reeder’s three three-pointers in the second quarter and outscored the Panthers 20-6 to take the lead into the break.
PBL gradually chipped away at the lead and in the second half and the two teams traded the lead on consecutive possessions to end the third quarter, with Monticello on top 36-35 after Miller hit his third three of the night with 25 seconds left for the period.
Miller led all scorers with a career-high 15 points, finishing 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. Reeder added a career-high 13 points, finishing 4-for-5 from deep.
Ben Singleton scored just two points for the Sages but grabbed a game-high ten rebounds.
Kyle Poll scored 14 points to pace the Panthers and Austin Gooden added 11 points.
With the win, Monticello avenged a 54-49 loss at the Holiday Hoopla tournament in late December.
The Panthers are now 10-5 on the season while Monticello improves to 14-3 overall.
The Sages are back in action next Tuesday night when they host Notre Dame de la Salle at 7 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.