Billies season comes to an end with two point win over Stuttgart


Coming in the final regular season game of the 2023-24 season, the Monticello Billies would have to defeat the Stuttgart Ricebirds, who defeated the Billies in their first conference contest in January, to advance to the 4A South Regional Tournament. 

Defeating Stuttgart would not be the only requirement to reach the postseason however, the Billies not only had to win the contest, but they needed to defeat the Ricebirds by nine or more points to claim the fourth seed out of the 8-4A.

Stuttgart would control the opening tip, but it was the Billies that would take control of the contest early in the first quarter. 

Quay Rhodes would get the Billies on the board on the Billies first possession with a two followed by five points from Tejon Tensley and a two by Jax Rawls to cap off a 9-0 run to begin the first quarter. 

Stuttgart would call a timeout after the 9-0 run and would make the needed adjustments to halt the Billie momentum.

Stuttgart would come back in the quarter with both teams scoring 16 points to head into the second quarter tied. 

In the second quarter, the Billies would get six points from Quay Rhodes and a three pointer from Joseph Accelus to outscore the Ricebirds 10-6 in the second quarter to hold a four point, 26-22, lead heading into the halftime break.

Stuttgart would score the first five points to begin the second half of play.

Monticello would get their first points of the half on a three pointer by Peyton Strickland with 4:43 on the clock followed by a three by Rhodes at the 4:11 mark.

Strickland would add another two points followed by two from Jax Rawls to give the Billies 10-0 run to extend the lead to 36-27.

Stuttgart would score the final six points of the quarter to cut the Billie lead to two points, 36-34, heading into the fourth quarter.

The Billies would continue to lead throughout the fourth quarter with Stuttgart cutting the Billie lead to three points with 2:46 remaining in the contest, 44-41.

Jax Rawls would add a point to the Billie lead with a free throw with 2:10 on the clock with Tensley extending the lead by two more points with 52 seconds remaining for a six point, 47-41, lead.

Stuttgart cut the lead to four points on free throws with Rhodes connecting on a three with 23 seconds remaining to push the lead back to seven.

Stuttgart would score the final five points of the contest with three points coming from the free throw line, and a two point shot being scored with three seconds remaining to set up the final score of 50-48 in favor of the Billies, but not by a wide enough margin to qualify for the Regional Tournament.

Stuttgart sealed the fourth seed from the 8-4A.

For the Billies, Quay Rhodes would lead the way in scoring with 16 points followed by Joseph Accelus with 10.

Tejon Tensley finished the contest with nine points, with Jax Rawl adding six, and Peyton Strickland with five.

Rohan Patel rounded out the Billie scoring with four.

For the Billies, they would finish the season seven points shy of advancing to the Regional Tournament, compiling an overall record of 9-17 and an 8-4A Conference record of 7-7 for a fifth place finish in the final conference standings ahead of Star City in sixth, Hamburg in seventh, and Crossett in eighth.