|Two-minute drill sinks Tribe in 40th District
By Dan Manley
Advocate Sports Editor
For 30 minutes last Tuesday night at the MCHS Arena the Montgomery County Indians were toe-to-toe with the Paris Greyhounds.
Paris scored the final nine points of the game after the two teams were tied at 51-51 with 1:59 to play when MCHS junior center Will Cockrell hit a short jumper to knot the score.
But the Tribe didn’t score again, missing four free throws down the stretch, while Paris got six free throws from all-region guard Eric Johnson to put the game away.
Johnson finished with 27 points and scored nine of the Greyhounds’ final 15 points in the final three minutes.
Montgomery County came out with what seemed like the perfect game plan as they put the ball into the hands of senior Hayden Chism to work against the Paris press and were patient on offense, shortening the game and getting high percentage shots.
After falling behind 10-4 in the early going the Indians recovered to take the lead for the first time on junior Jon Kosier’s three-pointer that made it 12-10.
Paris scored to tie the score at 12-12 at the end of the opening period but the Greyhounds did not lead again until Jalen Byars scored on a put-back with under two and a half minutes to play to put the Greyhounds in front 51-49.
In between the Indians held the advantage throughout the second period and had a 27-21 lead at the break.
And then the Tribe went on top by as many as eight points in the third period and led 40-35 going into the final eight minutes.
Chism’s three-point play with 5:38 to go made it 45-38 but then Montgomery County would score only six points the rest of the way.
While Johnson was the bulk of the Paris offense the Indians had a night of equality with Ralls leading the way with 12 points and Cockrell, Chism and Dylan Young, who was a perfect four of four from the field, adding eight each.
Junior center Pharoah Davis had seven, all at the foul line with Evan King scoring five and Kosier three.
Sophomore guard Jamaun Clark added 11 for Paris with Marcus Ashford and Travis Strings scoring seven each, Jalen Byars six and Aaron Maggard two.
The Indians hit 16 of 27 shots from the field for 59 percent and out-rebounded the Greyhounds 32-27.
After three periods they also had just 11 turnovers compared to seven for the quick-handed Paris players. But by the end of the night the Indians had 22 turnovers and that proved to be the difference as the Greyhounds got up 21 more field goals than the Tribe.
The win sent Paris on to the 40th District title game against Clark County with a 22-6 record while the Indians ended their season at 13-16.
Paris (60) — Eric Johnson 6-19 12-14 27, Marcus Ashford 2-4 2-2 7, Jalen Byars 2-3 2-4 6, Travis Strings 3-7 0-2 7, Aaron Maggard 1-2 0-0 2, Taleigh Adams 0-4 0-0 0, Jamaun Clark 4-10 2-4 11. Totals 18-48 18-26 60.
MCHS (51) — Duce Ralls 5-8 2-5 12, Evan King 1-4 2-2 5, Pharoah Davis 0-0 7-8 7, Will Cockrell 3-6 2-6 8, Hayden Chism 2-4 4-6 8, Dylan Young 4-4 0-0 8, Jonathan Kosier 1-2 0-0 3, Ryan Thomas 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-27 17-27 51.
Paris 12 9 14 25—60
MCHS 12 15 13 11—51
Three-point field goals — Paris 6-18 (Johnson 3-8, Ashford 1-1, Strings 1-4, Clark 1-3); MCHS 2-5 (King 1-2, Kosier 1-1). Rebounds — Paris 27 (Johnson 5, Strings 5); MCHS 32 (Cockrell 11, Davis 5). Turnovers — Paris 12, MCHS 22. Total fouls — Paris 22, MCHS 19. Fouled out — Byars, King. Technical foul — King.
Paris now owns an eight-game win streak over the Indians with Montgomery County’s last victory coming on Feb. 7, 2015 by a score of 65-53.
Montgomery County has still dominated the series over its small, but always athletically talented rival.
The Indians won 26 straight games from Jan. 5 of 1999 to Dec. 9 of 2014.
In the last 36 meetings the Indians have won 27 but the Greyhounds are currently on a roll.