The Yazoo City Indians were riding an 11-game winning streak heading into last Monday night's contest against Forest Hill and their Dandy Dozen forward Keondre Montgomery.
Through three quarters it seemed as though the win streak would continue as the Indians, playing their Senior Night, were in position to topple the mighty Patriots. Unfortunately, late-game turnovers and missed shots cost the Indians as they dropped a heartbreaking 56-53 decision.
"We battled in the second half but missed layups, free throws, turnovers, and giving up crucial offensive rebounds was too much for us to overcome," said Yazoo City head coach Anthony Carlyle.
The Indians got out to an early lead against the Patriots and were leading midway through the quarter when Montgomery barreled down the lane for a momentum-stealing thunderous dunk that temporarily halted the Indians progress.
The Indians regrouped, however, and led by one, 12-11, after one quarter of play. Yazoo City began to ease away again, increasing their lead to four with 1:45 remaining in the first half.
Forest Hill, however, rallied and went on an 8-0 run to close out the quarter and take a 28-14 lead at the half.
Said Carlyle, "I thought we maintained control until some costly turnovers in the final minute of the first half which allowed them an 8-0 run that had us down four instead of up four at halftime."
The Patriots extended their lead slightly in the third quarter after posting a 12-7 quarter but the momentum was about to change again as foul trouble sent Montgomery to the bench.
With the state's top ranked player in the Class of 2020 on the bench, Yazoo City stormed back to take the lead and seemed poised to knock off the giant for their 12 straight win. To the dismay of the Indian faithful, Montgomery returned to the game and was able to guide his troops down the stretch to pull out the three point win.
"Sometimes the games are so fast and so intense that the simple routine plays become hard," said Carlyle. "Hopefully we'll use this as a learning experience and improve on our mistakes."
Brendan Brown led the way for the Indians scoring 12 points and was followed in double figures by Percy Green with 11.
Daon Henry added eight, F.J. Lewis had seven, Jacquarrius Collum had six, Will Grayson had five and Chris Burnett and Jaquaris Rogers each scored two.
Montgomery led all scorers with a game-high 24 points.
"It was our first loss of this new year, snapping an 11-game winning streak," added Carlyle. "I'll be curious to see how we respond in the coming practices and final game before the district tournament starts."