By Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal
ABERDEEN – Amory made a big statement in the boys’ championship game of the Monroe County Tournament on Saturday night, knocking off host and defending champion Aberdeen for the county title.
The Panthers’ 50-47 win gives them their first county title since 2005, the last time Aberdeen lost in the tournament championship game.
“It feels great for us to win this one for my seniors. Some of them have been starting since ninth grade,” Amory coach Rob Browning said. “Aberdeen’s been a thorn in their side. They dug down tonight and played as hard as they could for four quarters.”
Aberdeen took an early 5-2 lead in the first quarter, but a 3 from Dario Robinson gave Amory the lead, and they never surrendered it, leading by 10 to open the third quarter.
Aberdeen clawed back near the end of the fourth quarter. Rico Haughton’s 3-pointer put the Bulldogs down by 2 with a minute to go, and Aaron McMillian’s layup closed the gap to 48-47 before Robinson hit a pair of free throws to secure the win.
“This win feels good. We always get beat in the third quarter,” said Robinson, who was named tournament MVP. “We came out with the same intensity we had in the first half tonight.”
Robinson led the Panthers with 17 points, while Devin McIntosh scored 11. Aberdeen had three in double figures with Ken McCoy, Jakeese Walker and Marcus Carothers all scoring 10.
“You just have to come ready to play, and I’m not sure we did tonight,” Aberdeen coach Roy Hazzle said.
(G) Hamilton 53, Aberdeen 25: Aberdeen tied the game at 10 apiece with a shot from Alexis Walker at the end of the first quarter, but Hamilton went on a 15-3 run in the second to take the lead for good.