Even weather can’t stop Billies

It’s said truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction. For anybody who watched or participated in Tuesday’s Dumas-Monticello game, that realization is far too true today.

At about 8:46 p.m., with the Billies leading by 20 points at the 4:55 mark of the third quarter, Monticello School District officials stepped in and stopped the contest. There was a tornado warning that had been issued until 9 p.m. for the northern half of Drew County, among other places, they said.

The players of both teams and all the fans inside the Dan Coston Field House were ushered into the high school building to wait out the warning.

Those still milling around were checking cell phones, police scanners and calling loved ones at home to get updates on the nasty weather. Dumas’ players changed into street clothes, thinking they were going home.

At 9:15, the decision was made among both coaches, administrators from both schools and police in attendance that the danger had passed. The Bobcats were instructed to suit up again. Each team was given 10 minutes to warm up before the game resumed.

Fans began filing back into the gym and the teams took the floor to work out whatever kinks may have set in with the delay. Three minutes later, those same Monticello School District officials took to the public address  system again to inform players, coaches and fans of another tornado warning, for practically the same areas, this one expiring at 9:30 p.m.

The fans and players were once again ushered into the high school building. And those still milling around inside the field house were once again tuned to cell phones, police scanners and calling loved ones at home. Those from Dumas wondered aloud if they would run into the storm on their way home--if so, they said, it would make more sense to stay where they were safe and play the game.

Somebody must have been listening because at 9:26 p.m., Monticello officials received the “all clear” from their police contacts and the game was on again. When Dumas inbounded the ball at 9:28 p.m., players, coaches and those fans still in attendance had waited out a some 42-minute weather delay. The resumption of the game halfway through the third quarter wasn’t any different than the two-and-a-half quarters played before the stoppage.

Monticello thoroughly dominated the visiting Bobcats and kept its Class 4A, District 8 record perfect with a more-than-convincing 52-25 victory. The Billies improved to 7-0 in the league and 18-2 overall. And they took care of business in the start of what will be a busy week for Monticello on the hardwood. A trip on Thursday to Lake Village to play a make-up game from the one postponed because of cold and ice on January 15 will be followed the next night when Hamburg visits the Billies.

And then there was the game.  Lost in all the hubbub and the absolutely necessary worry and precaution was another dominating performance by the Billies. Dumas didn’t even hit double figures until the first shot the Bobcats took in the third quarter, and by then the game was long decided.

Steals, rebounds, fast-break layups and easy buckets in the lane were the order of the night for Monticello. Runs of 14-3 in the first quarter and 13-5 in the second gave the Billies a more-than-comfortable lead. Deshawn McGowan even added a fast-break slam dunk after the lengthy weather delay to put the exclamation point on the win.

Mike Jones canned four three-point shots to lead the Billies in scoring with 12 points but Coach Wayne Sherrer saw his charges share the basketball pretty much equally. Understandably, Sherrer was just like everybody else there last night probably wanted to get home so he couldn’t say anything  about the game.

Tuesday’s victory followed another dominating performance against DeWitt on Thursday, January 24. In that game, Monticello led 27-6 at the end of eight minutes en route to a 62-33 shellacking of the Dragons. Torry Butler led all scorers in the DeWitt game with 23 points.

Lady Billies

It was a struggle, but Monticello’s Lady Billies used defense and fast breaks to best Dumas 47-37 Tuesday night at Coston  Field House.

Senior Erin Campbell scored the first six points of the game but then seemed to hand the reins to her younger teammates.

The Lady Cats kept it close in the first half with timely three-point shooting but the game never was really in doubt. Monticello’s final margin of 10 points was its biggest lead. The Lady Billies, however, never trailed in the contest.

Runs of 6-2 early and 8-4 late, both in the third quarter, sealed the win for Monticello.

The closest Dumas came was four points. The win started a busy week for Monticello on a good note.

The Lady Billies will travel to Lake Village on Thursday for a make-up game from one that was postponed from January 15, then host Hamburg on Friday.

Winning over the Lady Cats on Tuesday gave Coach Lucy Williams’ young Monticello team its 10th win of 2012-2013.

The Lady Billies are now 10-9 overall and improved to 6-2 in Class 4A, District 8. The victory also put them one-half game ahead of Dumas, which fell to 13-7 and 6-3 in conference play. Both teams are positioned behind defending Class 4A state champion Star City in the conference.

Tuesday night’s win came on the heels of a 40-28 league victory over DeWitt on Thursday, January 24.

Monticello outscored the Dragonettes 12-6 in the fourth quarter to seal what was another hard-fought  win for the sophomore-laden Lady Billies.

Sedre’auna Griddine led the Lady Billies in scoring against DeWitt with 11 points.

The Advance-Monticellonian

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