Robert Montgomery put the Hawks on his back, carrying his team to an 82-68 win over New Albany on Thursday.
Myrtle jumped to a quick 8-2 lead, but the Bulldogs worked their way back in, as Eric Chaney tied the game at 10 and Devon Berry put the ‘Dawgs up 12-10. Montomery pulled the Hawks within two at the end of the first before scoring 21 of Myrtle’s 23 second quarter points, including three straight three-point plays in the frame. The senior put the Hawks up 23-21, and Myrtle led 35-33 at the half.
“I know in the second quarter, he put us on his back,” Myrtle coach Cliff Ormon said. “New Albany did a great job forcing us out of the lane, and I told them going into the second quarter that we needed to be in attack mode. Robert was able to get in for a couple of layups, and after that, he did his thing. It made coaching a lot easier.”
William Harding tied the game at 38 early in the third, and there were five lead changes in the quarter. Ben Paist has the final say late in the frame, hitting a three-pointer, putting the Hawks up 54-53 going into the fourth.
Taylor Hogue and Keon Hampton stepped up for Myrtle in the final quarter, and Hogue was 10-of-12 from the free throw line, creating distance after Hampton gave the Hawks the lead for good on a three-point shot.
“Taylor Hogue is just a junior, and he’s continuing to grow every day as a player,” Ormon said. “He’s a very aggressive kid, and he kept attacking the rim. We wanted to be in attack mode and not just settling for shots. We also got to the free throw line and started getting into a rhythm. We missed some against Potts Camp the other night, but we were able to go out and get them in the fourth quarter tonight.”
Montgomery finished with 41 points to lead the Hawks (2-0). Hogue added 20 points, followed by Hampton with 15 points and Paist with 14 points.
Eric Chaney led New Albany with 21 points, and William Harding added 11 points.
New Albany 61 Myrtle 30 (girls)
Kayla Parker had a game-high 23 points, leading the Lady Bulldogs to 2-0 on the year.
Myrtle held an early 6-2 lead in the first, but the Lady Bulldogs went on an 11-0 run to close the first quarter up 13-6. Parker put New Albany up by 10 in the second, and Jazmine Spears had 11 points in the first half with New Albany leading 27-16 at the break.
Spears finished with 21 points on the night, and with the senior on the bench, Parker scored 12 fourth quarter points on four three-pointers.
Meshay Cox led Myrtle (0-2) with 13 points.
New Albany will host Coahoma County on Saturday, and Myrtle will next play at Falkner on Monday.