Falcons down Young Harris to clinch division championship
FROM STAFF REPORTS
MONTEVALLO – The University of Montevallo men’s basketball team defeated visiting Young Harris College 92-70 to clinch back-to-back regular season Peach Belt Conference West Division championships on Senior Day in the final regular season game March 2 at Trustmark Arena.
The Falcons enter the Peach Belt Conference tournament as the No. 1 seed in the West Division. Montevallo will face Augusta State University, the No. 4 seed in the East Division, in the conference tournament quarterfinals Friday, March 8 at 6 p.m. CST at the Frank G. Lumpkin Center in Columbus, Ga.
Senior Marvin Fitzgerald led Montevallo (18-8 overall, 14-5 in Peach Belt Conference) with 20 points and a career-high 23 rebounds, including nine offensive rebounds. Fitzgerald, who posted his team-leading 11th double-double of the season, finished 8-of-17 from the field and 4-of-5 from the charity stripe in the victory.
Senior Drico Hightower, who grabbed six rebounds, added 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor and a 4-of-6 performance at the free-throw line. Fellow senior Jonas Brown finished with 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc to go along with seven rebounds.
Sophomore Troran Brown, who dished out a team-high nine assists, chipped in 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field. Fellow sophomore Ryan May finished with nine points. Senior Travis DeShazior contributed seven points, five rebounds and five assists.
Junior Silas Mills, who knocked down 3-of-3 attempts from the floor, finished with six points and seven rebounds. Senior Jeff Hefnerchipped in four points and two boards. Junior Jarrid Schroeder added three points, while senior Danny Cummins contributed one point and four assists.
Young Harris took a 10-8 lead following a 3-pointer by Bryson Robertson with 16:53 remaining in the first half before the Falcons responded with a 40-16 run to head into the locker room with a 50-26 advantage.
Jonas Brown knocked down a 3-pointer with 9:59 left in the first half to give Montevallo a 28-16 advantage, its first double-digit lead. Montevallo led by as many as 26 points in the opening half following a 3-pointer by Jonas Brown with 1:31 left in the half, which gave the Falcons a 50-24 lead.
The Falcons continue to hold on to a sizeable lead in the second half. A layup by Malcolm Jackson cut the Falcons’ lead to 66-50 with 11:39 remaining in the game, but Montevallo responded with a quick 4-0 run on back-to-back baskets by Drico Hightower to push its lead back to 20 points.
Montevallo led by as many as 27 points in the final minutes following a free throw by Fitzgerald, which gave the Falcons a 85-58 lead with 4:10 left in the game.
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