Montini ended the regular season with a three-game winning streak, and it was in large part due to the seniors stepping up and taking more of a leadership role.
On Monday in the first round of the Class 3A Genoa-Kingston Regional, the Broncos seniors were at it again. Jack Brady, Matt Brachmann, Mike Delaplane and Tom McGillicuddy combined to score 46 points and lead Montini to a 59-46 win over the host Cogs.
The Broncos (12-15) advance to play top-seeded Sycamore on Tuesday.
“I can’t say enough about how proud I am of our seniors,” Montini coach Brian Opoka said. “The last few weeks they have really stepped it up. We have fought and battled all season and we fought and battled tonight. We lived to play another day and these seniors have truly earned it.|
The Broncos trailed 22-19 early in the third quarter, but went on a 8-0 run to grab a 27-22 lead. Brady, who had a team-high 16 points, put the Broncos ahead with a baseline drive to the basket with 6:12 left in the third quarter. He followed that with a pair of free throws.
Later in the third quarter and early in the fourth, the Broncos went on a 9-0 run to open a 42-29 lead. Brachmann, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds, scored a putback and a pair of free throws in the run. Delaplane finished with 10 points, including three three-pointers.
“We came in riding pretty high,” Brachmann said. “We knew this was going to be a tough physical game. But we just had to grind it out. We just came together and got it done.”
The Cogs (17-10) could get no closer than seven points in the fourth. Montini connected on 14 of 21 free throws in the final eight minutes. Sophomore Tommy Lucca led the Cogs with 18 points.
Genoa-Kingston shot just 28 percent (9-for-32) in the second half.
“Early on we had a chance to put some points up, but just couldn’t finish around the basket,” G-K coach Corey Jenkins said. “Then when we fell behind in the second half we started forcing some shots from the perimeter. It certainly wasn’t from a lack of effort. We played hard, but the shots just didn’t go down.”