Pleasant Plains came out with more fire on defense in the second half and shut out Monticello in the fourth quarter to roll to a 43-27 victory in non-conference high school boy's basketball action from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School Tuesday night.
It was the season opener for both clubs and with three starters back from last year's squad, Plains overcame the injury to 6-foot-4 senior Nick Sabo as senior Evan Houser stepped up offensively.
Zach Powell led the Cardinals with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Houser contributed 14 points.
Monticello led 10-7 after the first quarter and 20-17 at the intermission and looked like a smothering Sages defense would keep the game close but Plains started the second half on a quick 7-1 run in the first four minutes to open a 24-21 lead.
Junior Trey Welter hit a three to tie the game at 24-24 with 3:24 to play in the third. After Cardinals freshman Grady Grisham hit a layup with 2:51 to go in the third, junior Raiden Colbert made a three at the 1:40 mark of the third to put the Sages up 27-26, but that would be the last bucket for Monticello.
Welter led Monticello with nine points. Colbert added six. Sophomore Tyler Blythe had five points off the bench for Monticello.
The Sages take a week off before returning to the Sievers Center next Tuesday night hosting Riverton.