Back in November there was a post on the YSN365.com Facebook page that Montgomery was the No. 1 pre-season team in the area.
They are No. 1 at the end.
The Vikings continued to prove they are the best team in the area with a 56-45 win over Maria Carrillo in the NBL Post Season Championship game in front of a packed house at SRJC.
It wasn’t Montgomery’s best game and they had to withstand a three point barrage by Maria Carrillo in the second quarter, but ended up winning the game going away, although the game was closer than the score indicates.
Maria Carrillo scored the first six points of the game and after Montgomery rallied to take a 10-8 lead is when the three point barrage came.
Five of the Pumas six second quarter field goals were three point shots. They were hit by four different players and the Mario Carrilo had a 22-15 lead with four minutes to go in the quarter. That seemed to be the strategy to throw up threes. Maria Carrillo was five of seventeen in the first half. In the second half they hit one of eight.
During the run which gave them the lead, 6’ 7” Second team All-League member A.J. John, who is headed to Pepperdine, committed his third foul and left the game with five minutes left in the half. That led to the defining moment of the game.
John reentered the game with two minutes left in the half and Maria Carrillo with a 25-21 lead. That was head scratching enough. Montgomery Coach Tom Fitchie immediately called a time out. You knew the timeout was to run a play at John, if he was back in the game after the time out.
He was and they did.
The play was to no other the NBL player of the year Alec Raven, who took the ball at John and got that fourth foul. Raven hit two free throws part of his game high 20 points.
John, who didn’t score in the game and had two first quarter rebounds, sat out until the fourth quarter.
While he sat, Raven scored eight of the 20 points in the third quarter to help Montgomery get control of the game.
The dagger might have been when Rylan Kobre stuck a three at the buzzer to make it 44-38 Montgomery at the end of three. The six point lead at the moment was the Vikings biggest of the game.
After Maria Carrillo scored on a basket by Jake Viter to start the fourth quarter, Montgomery scored four straight to make it 48-40 and the lead wouldn’t be less than six that rest of the way.
Montgomery’s only double digit lead was the final score.
Connor Wright led Maria Carrillo with 11 points and Clayton Andrews added 10. Both hit 3’s during the second quarter run.
Montgomery has a nine game winning streak and is 23-5 on the season. The Vikings is the odds on favor for a No. 1 seed in the Division 2 playoffs. It is the first time they have won the Post Season tournament since 2012 and first time they pulled the double, league champion and post season tournament champion, since 2003 when they did it in back to back years.
It was Maria Carrillo’s first shot at hitting the twenty win mark for the second time in school history. They are 19-9 on the season. They will get another shot in the NCS Division 2 playoffs. That shot will be at home unless they match up against a league champion, which doesn’t seem likely.
The NCS Selection Show will be online live at 11:30 from the NCS office.
YSN365.com will be monitoring the event and update events on our Facebook page.
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