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Posted On: 03/2/18 9:42 PM
Hillsborough hadn’t been in a state basketball tournament in 22 years.
That changed on Friday night when the Terriers (25-5) edged visiting Daytona Beach Mainland 53-49 in front of a sold-out crowd in the Class 7A-Region 2 final. The win places Hillsborough in the state semifinal against Choctaw at 10 a.m. on Friday in Lakeland.
Hillsborough allowed Mainland (21-8) to hold a lead only three times in the game. The first time came on a buzzer beating 3 by sophomore Taron Keith at halftime. The others were in the third quarter.
The Terriers led the entire fourth quarter and saw three players finish in double figures in scoring, Warren McLymont (14 points), Myles Cowart (12 points) and Ken Montgomery (12 points).
For Mainland, Johnny Brown finished with a game-high 20 points.
Here are the top performers from the evening.
Warren McLymont is very sound
A week after scoring 25 points in the regional semifinal victory over Springstead, McLymont netted 14 points, again leading his group. The 6’4″ junior is a talented shooter and gifted attacker. He’s part of a deep group of athletic tweeners, guys that can play both guard and forward. McLymont will be asked to do a lot against Choctaw on Friday.
Johnny Brown can turn it up
Brown shot a 3 on an open look early in the game and then went to the bench. After that, the 6’8″ junior forward gained confidence and did all he could for Mainland. He scored 20 points including 11 in the first half. Hillsborough did a good job of slowing him down after the halftime break.
Myles Cowart and Ken Montgomery play hard
A pair of seniors Myles Cowart and Ken Montgomery each recorded 12 points. They both shot well and made the most of their open looks. Montgomery had a trio of 3’s between the second and third quarter and a huge block late. The Maryland football commit is headed to college in two weeks but is clearly willing to do what it takes to help this team. Cowart has been steady all season and he made plays when counted upon.
Taron Keith is a lethal shooter
Keith turned the Bucs luck around at the end of the second quarter. With Mainland trailing 26-24, it seemed as if a play was being set up. Instead, time ran off the clock, about 37 seconds. Keith had the ball in his hands and drilled a 3 from the white volleyball line with ease (VIDEO). The 5’10” guard had 10 points and is someone who should develop nicely.
Christian De Leon came up big late
The 5’8″ junior transferred over from Alonso this summer and it has paid dividends. A speedy and gifted ballhandler, De Leon scored all seven of his points in the second half. He scored four points in the fourth quarter including two clutch free throws. His burst in transition is fun to watch.