Blount’s 28 points lead Wolves to victory, Lady Tigers hang on
Published 9:17 pm Monday, December 6, 2021
MONTEREY — Wolves guard Nathan Blount was on fire as he put up 28 points in Monterey’s 74-32 win over Montgomery Monday night. The Tigers were left in the dust as the mighty Wolves took a 19-2 lead in the first quarter.
In warmups, Blount said he did not feel good as a shooter. He was not making the shots he typically does. It concerned him a little bit, but as he got in the game, he started to make three-pointers after three-pointers. Six of his eight threes came in the second half.
“I knew if I shot, it was going in,” Blount said. “I just shoot it. When I’m hot, I’m hot. I feel like I can’t miss.”
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As a team, Monterey made 12 three-pointers in their win. Connor Boyd had three of those shots. Head coach Eric Richard said when Boyd and Blount are shooting well, the whole team does well.
Point guard Phillip Atkins finished the night with four points, but Richard credits him with running the Wolves offense. His brother Braden Atkins scored 17 points for the Wolves.
In the fourth quarter, younger players picked up minutes of game experience. Blount said he was surprised the team won by 42 points because Richard warned them about two good players for the Tigers in practice. They expected a closer game, he said.
While district play is more than a month away, the Wolves have a team goal of going undefeated in district play. Blount said Monterey wants to play beyond the second round of the playoffs. He has a goal of his own.
“I want to hit ten threes in a game,” Blount said. “I came close today. I told myself, ‘Today, I’m going to drop 30.’ I didn’t quite get there.”
Two points separated Blount from his 30 point goal. Additionally, two points separated the Lady Wolves from tying the game in the fourth quarter against the Lady Tigers.
With four minutes left to go in the game, Monterey had cut the Lady Tigers lead to just two points. It looked like the Lady Wolves would tie the game as a shot went up, but it didn’t drop. The game went downhill with a turnover, a few missed shots, and a missed call, a Tiger player caught the ball with her feet out of bounds practically in Richard’s lap. A minute later, the Wolves were down 11 points and would lose 51-39.
“It just kind of snowballed from there. We didn’t make enough plays,” Richard said. “If the layup goes in, who knows what happens. We turned the ball over against their press and missed a few layups. I learned a long time ago no one is trying to miss a layup. It happens. That is basketball. They were battling and going for the game.”
The game against the Lady Tigers was a physical grind, he said. Down the stretch, his girls were tired, and fatigue might have contributed to the missed opportunities.
Monterey did give itself a chance to win the game after being down 27-18 at halftime.
“You do that enough times you will breakthrough,” Richard said.
The Lady Wolves’ first half performance was sluggish or shell-shocked. It took a timeout and Richard getting on to his players to get the team playing better.
“Their size bothered us, and they hit a few threes early in the game,” Richard said. “We didn’t respond well to it at first. We got punched in the mouth to start the game and didn’t respond until later. Then we came back and played good ball.”