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Deja vu

Monticello holds off Beacon in overtime thriller

Yovanni Fields
Posted 1/12/24

MONTICELLO — The tension in “The Pit” was palpable as the Beacon Bulldogs returned to Monticello for the first time since last year’s buzzer beating victory by the Panthers, …

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Deja vu

Monticello holds off Beacon in overtime thriller


MONTICELLO — The tension in “The Pit” was palpable as the Beacon Bulldogs returned to Monticello for the first time since last year’s buzzer beating victory by the Panthers, who trailed by as many as 18 points in the first half against the then 15-4 Dutchess County squad.

 With that sour taste still in the Bulldogs’ mouths and the Panthers confidence at an all-time high this game was shaping to be a great way to jumpstart the 2024 season for basketball fans as well as players excited to get back on the court after the holiday break.

The two teams needed a fifth quarter to decide the winner, but the Panthers came out on top of a 66-62 contest that came down to the wire.

The game started off very similar to the last meeting between these two respected teams, but the roles were reversed this time around. Monticello was hot from the jump and made sure to let the Bulldogs know whose house they were in. 

The Panthers were clicking on all cylinders, getting off to an 11-0 start in the first quarter with four of their five starters getting on the board before Beacon was able to get on the board with their first bucket coming with 20.4 seconds left in the first by J. Quintana. 

Monticello answered with a mid-range pull up at the buzzer by Daevion Sandoval to end the first with the Panthers leading the Bulldogs 13-2. 

With both teams coming out of the break pressing and turning up the defensive intensity, we had a scoreless first two minutes of the second quarter before Daevion Sandoval scored a tough basket at the rim to bring it to 15-2 followed by a Bulldogs’ timeout. 

Coming out of the timeout, the Bulldogs showed they still had some fight left in them and were not going down that easily. In the next 2:30 they went on an 8-2 run, with the beacon guards Jazziah Whitted and Michai Thompson leading the charge, resulting  in a Monticello timeout. 

With both teams returning to the floor, senior guard Christian Brown came out after a Panthers miss to get a momentum boosting block and transition bucket that started off his string of baskets to end the half netting eight of his 13 first half points to keep the Panthers ahead 22-15 entering halftime. 

With Beacon seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after a very shaky start, and Monticello sticking to the game plan, the third quarter was nothing short of a shootout. 

Both teams came out hot going back and forth, whether it was attacking downhill or pulling up from downtown, it was getting exciting in the Pit. With Christian Brown netting yet another eight points in the third, he showed that he was completely locked in and going to do whatever it took to get his team over the hump. 

Beacon was carried in the third by a very impressive inside attack time and time again by Ryan Landisi adding six points of his own. 

With the end of the third in sight and Monticello still clinging on to a 5-point lead of 40-35 it was shaping out to be a photo finish for the books. 

Beacon’s Jazziah Whitted drew first blood on an and-1 layup to get the Bulldog fans on their feet and bring Beacon within two, trailing 40-38, and starting off his huge fourth quarter contribution of 10 points. 

With guards stepping up to the plate with the speed of the game increasing, it was off to the races for both clubs and Christian Brown was ready for the task at hand as well. 

Just like Whitted, Brown also had 10 points in the fourth and added in an insane four blocks, bringing his game total to five. 

With the time going by quickly, and both teams going on a tear, Beacon steals their first lead of the game with 1:53 remaining in the fourth behind a steal and breakaway layup from Whitted to go up 52-51, with a chance at the line to extend the lead even more. 

With the extra point no good, and Monticello off to the races, Judah Brown connected on a rough transition floater to bring the Panthers back up by one, 53-52, with 1:08 remaining in the contest. 

With both teams hustling for every loose ball, and crazy  offensive and defensive boards, Beacon’s Whitted returned to the line after a foul and netted in one of two free throws to tie the game at 53 apiece. 

With both teams unsuccessful after timeouts and go-ahead bucket attempts, the game headed to overtime with a 53-53 tie.

Both teams were eager to get the win, and overtime got chippy fast. With the hand checking and physicality being turned up several notches, both sides of the crowds were on their feet with every make and miss of the overtime period. 

Both teams spent a fair bit of time at the free throw line, heading to the stripe a combined 16 times in the overtime period, showing how physical the game became as the teams emptied their energy reserves. 

The game was neck and neck, and players from both sides stepped up when it mattered most. 

Christian and Judah Brown led the charge for the Panthers, but it was the birthday boy Xaveon Mitchell who netted the game sealing free throws, followed by Jayden Cuevas-Berrios adding the cherry on top with a last second lay. 

The Panthers held on and outscored the Bulldogs winning 66-62. 

Christian Brown lead all scorers with 30 points. Judah Brown and Daevion Sandoval added 12 and 8 for the Panthers. 

Jazziah Whitted had 17 to lead the Bulldogs and was accompanied by Ryan Landisi and Michai Thompson who added 15 and 14 points. 


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