Mt’neers down Cubs in thrilling fashion in district opener

Skylan Akins

Mt. Vernon advanced to the district semifinals Monday night after Kai Brown hit the game winning three with less than 10 seconds to spare. The shot gave the Mt’neers the 40-39 win over backyard rival Monett.
Mt. Vernon came into district play winners of six of their last seven, as they have really heated up down the stretch, and a 52-45 win over Seneca last Thursday continued the momentum. The Mt’neers came into district play as the five seed and would open against Monett with a semifinal showdown with East Newton looming.
Defense ruled the opening quarter as a Jarrett Zerby free throw with no time on the clock gave the Mt’neers a 6-5 lead after one. Mt. Vernon built on that lead as a big quarter from Clayton Turner gave the Mt’neers a 21-16 lead thanks to a Turner putback at the buzzer. Both teams struggled to get going in the third, however, Mt. Vernon put one in at the buzzer yet again this time Kai Brown got a three to go to put the Mt’neers up 33-25.
The fourth quarter was pandemonium, as Monett used a 9-0 run to take a 34-33 lead with 4:13 remaining. Monett would hold the lead until a Tristan Jones elbow jumper gave Mt. Vernon the 37-36 advantage with 40 seconds left. That was short lived as Monett drilled a three with 15 seconds remaining to take a 39-37 lead.
Brown played hero once again, as he got a three ball to go with nine seconds left to go up one. Mt. Vernon’s defense forced one more stop and the Mt’neers completed the upset, 40-39.
“I think both teams played hard. There was a lot of seniors who didn’t want it to be their last game. Both defenses played well. We just hit one more shot and that was the difference,” Coach Mike Ray said.
Brown was pleased and is already looking forward to the next contest.
“Everyone came ready to play. Tristan (Jones) is a little under the weather, but he came to play. We didn’t shoot the ball well, but our defense showed up and I thought we were the tougher team. Now we get to prepare for the next one,” Brown said of their hard fought win.
The Mt’neers move to 9-17 for the season and will be back in action Thursday at 6 p.m. against top seed East Newton in Seneca.
The Mt. Vernon Lady Mt’neers came into the Class 4 District 12 tournament as the second seed following a 13-11 regular season. They opened their postseason with a win over seventh-seeded Monett, Saturday, 45-24. The win moved Mt. Vernon to the semifinal game which was played Tuesday night against sixth-seeded Cassville, following the Wildcats 31-29 win over East Newton. The winner will play the victor of the other semifinal game between Lamar and Seneca.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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