After clawing back from a ten point fourth quarter deficit, the Monticello Sages offense went dry and Paxton-Buckley-Loda held on for a 54-49 win in the second game of the day for both squads.
Ethan Miller hit a three to put the Sages up 47-46 as part of a 13-3 run that saw the game tied at 49 but the Panthers scored the next five points, including two free throws by Austin Gooden to seal the win with 5.3 seconds left.
The Panthers upset Ridgeview in their first game of the day and a Thursday afternoon win over Oakwood would put PBL in the championship game of the Holiday Hoopla.
The Sages led 14-10 after the first quarter but PBL pulled away at the half with a 21-10 second quarter as the Sages offense struggled.
The Sages drew within two points of the lead on two occasions and until Miller gave Monticello the lead in the fourth, they had not been able to get over the hump.
Devin Graham led all scorers with 17 points. He dished out four assists and pulled down three rebounds. Ben Singleton and Miller each finished with nine points. Singleton pulled down a game-high seven boards.
The Sages turned the basketball over 20 times while PBL committed 19 turnovers.
Monticello wraps up pool play in the Hoopla Thursday afternoon at 3:30 pm with a matchup against Ridgeview. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.