Grant Dickey leads the fastbreak for Ninety Six during the first half against Ware Shoals. The Wildcats went on to win 42-38. (Andrew Macke | Index-Journal)
WARE SHOALS — Malik Montague scored just two points for Ninety Six High School boys basketball team against Ware Shoals Tuesday night, but the guard made them count.
In the final minute of a 38-38 game, Montague drove down the middle of the lane, absorbed contact in midair and tossed up a layup that rolled in to push the Wildcats into the lead for good en route to a 42-38 victory.
Not only was it Montague's first points of the game, it was his first shot of the game.
"He knows his role," Ninety Six coach Ike Dickey said. "He played incredible defense on (Ware Shoals' Juwan Abney) in the second half. He took care of the ball with no turnovers.
"And he knows when his shot is there, he's got it."
Montague's heroics ruined a dramatic comeback by the Hornets in the third quarter. Trailing 16-15 at halftime, Ware Shoals fell in a deep hole as Ninety Six opened the half on a 6-0 run to grab a 22-15 lead within minutes.
Led by Abney and Denzell Suber, though, the Hornets outscored the Wildcats 15-6 in the last half of the third to grab a 30-28 lead after three. Abney dropped in eight of his 16 points in the quarter, while Suber, who played sparingly in the first half, came off the bench to hit a crucial jumper and 3-pointer in the third quarter.
"He's a player, he's a gamer," Ware Shoals coach Tim Gaines said of Suber. "I'm confident to put him in there in any situation."
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