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GHS boys fall at last second

Friday’s game between the Greenville boys and Monroe County wasn’t decided until literally the last second, and unfortunately for the Tigers, they were on the losing end.

Greenville took their first lead of the game with three minutes left in the game on two free throws by Jacques Burnett.

The Tigers even pulled ahead by as many as five points with just over a minute to play, but Monroe County pulled to 61-60 with 50 seconds to play.

That set up six lead changes in the last minute.

Greenville’s Brentley Hill hit two free throws with eight seconds left, but a three-pointer by Monroe County as the horn sounded gave MCHS the 67-65 win.

“We gave a much better effort,” said head coach Bryant Marlow. “We played our hearts out. I’m very proud of the effort, but this was just one of those things.”

The Tigers started out slowly, falling behind MCHS, but Jeremy Robinson did his part to get the Tigers and the crowd back in the game.

Robinson threw down a huge slam dunk at one end of the court in the second quarter and immediately followed it up with an equally big block at the other end.

Near the end of the third quarter, MCHS led 44-34, but Hill hit a three-pointer to cut into the lead.

The Tigers also started the fourth quarter in style with Zadarious Smith posterizing a Monroe defender with a monster dunk and another three-pointer from Hill.

With momentum on their side, Greenville managed to tie Monroe and set up the barn-burning fourth quarter.

“I’m glad our guys responded and kept fighting,” Marlow said. “We trailed most of the game, but we came back. We’re continuing to grow.”

One area Marlow saw that needs improvement is free throw shooting.

“We missed 14 free throws. If we hit those, it’s not even close,” he said.

Burnett led the Tigers with 20 points, while Hill had 12 and Smith added 11. Mikwese Claybourne also contributed 10 points.

There is a tie between Monroe County and Wilcox Central for first place in the area, and a coin flip will decide where the area tournament is held.

The Greenville girls know where their area tournament will be held: on their home court at GHS.

The girls locked up the area championship with a 47-35 win over MCHS.

“We got a chance to do what Greenville’s girls haven’t done in eight years — go undefeated in the area — and we did that,” said head coach Ronald Bogan.

When the two teams played in Monroeville, the Tigers only had a four-point win, but this game wasn’t nearly that close.

The Tigers held a 27-13 lead at halftime and held MCHS at bay for the rest of the game.

“Our defense looked good, and we got the looks we wanted on offense, but we just couldn’t finish some of the shots,” Bogan said.

Both Alexis Salter and Nicole Norton had 12 points.

The Tigers’ area tournament will be on Feb. 5 and 7.

In b-team action, Greenville pulled out a 46-43 win.

The Tigers trailed by two points after one quarter, but they outscored MCHS 14-6 in the second quarter and managed to hold on for the win.

Daryl Starks had 16 points and Eric Simmons added nine.