MONTROSE — In the first round of the Class 4A state tournament, Montrose boys basketball emerged with a win over Kennedy on Wednesday night.
Montrose built multiple big leads throughout the night, only to see Kennedy chip away and mount a comeback multiple times. Ultimately, though, Montrose pulled away for a 67-62 victory.
Connor Imus hit two late free-throws which helped seal the win.
"What a great basketball game," Montrose coach Ryan Voehringer said. "I thought we played our best two quarters of the year in the second and third quarters. Credit Kennedy for turning up the pressure in the fourth quarter.
"Two clutch free throws from Connor Imus to seal the game with six seconds to go," he added. "I thought we attacked the rim and shot the ball extremely well for three quarters. We played tentative in the fourth and most of that was due to Kennedy's pressure.
"I'm proud of my guys for how far we’ve come since beginning of November. Survive and advance at this point."
Sean Alex led Montrose with 16 points. Trey Reese added 13, Jordan Jennings had 12 and Imus had 11.
Kennedy led 13-10 after the first quarter, and pushed that lead to 15-10 before Montrose scored eight-straight points to go up 18-15. Montrose continued to score and soon led 24-17.
Kennedy rallied, and cut that lead to 24-23 before Montrose went on another run to lead 34-28 at halftime. The extended their lead to 57-39 after three quarters.
In the fourth, Kennedy scored the first nine points to cut the lead to 57-48. They eventually got within 65-62 with six seconds to play before Imus made two free throws to seal the win.
"We came out strong and got an early lead, but later on we sort of lost our composure," Montrose junior Sean Alex said. "We had multiple guys step up like Connor making free throws and got the win. Now we have to move on to the next game and try and win that one."
Kennedy was led by Riley Mayoral (16 points) and Jordan Bennett (14 points).
"It never is easy go see your season end or say goodbye to a great group of seniors but I'm proud of our body of work and proud of our fight we showed down the stretch," Kennedy coach Adam Hooker said. "In the end we just lost to a better coach, more disciplined team. We've all got to grow from this; as coaches, student-athletes and men. My hat's off to Coach Voehringer and his Montrose squad and I wish them the best of luck moving forward."