Trio from Mount Airys state championship basketball team leads Guests to victory


First Posted: 12/27/2008

Names like Errette Bobbitt, Terrence Lightborne, Kevin Hill, Tyler Bentley, Jim Forest, Anthony Joyce, Dustin Montgomery, Bryan Hayes and Levi Goins brought back old memories Saturday afternoon as Mount Airys basketball program held its 2nd Annual Alumni basketball game.
A trio of members from Mount Airys 2001-02 state championship basketball team helped the Guest squad defeat the Home team, 52-51 in the contest.
Dustin Montgomery, Bryan Hayes and Levi Goins, all members of the Granite Bears 1-A state title squad, played a key role in the victory for the Guest team.
The Home squad led 26-23 at the half, before the Guest team tied it at 28-all early in the third quarter. After the Home team added a deuce, Montgomerys basket in the paint allowed the Guest team to tie things up again, at 30-all, midway through the third.
The Guest team built a lead of 34-30, before Bobbitt nailed a 3-point bomb, cutting the lead to 34-33 with 2:40 to play in the third.
But Montgomery took a perfect assist down low and put the ball in the basket to put the Guests up 36-33.
With the score 40-35 in favor of the Home team about a minute into the fourth quarter, Goins was fouled on a nifty baseline move to the basket. He sank both free throws to cut Home teams advantage to 40-37.
Shortly thereafter, Goins canned a 3-pointer, completing a 5-0 run by the Guest team and giving them a 42-40 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
The two teams traded baskets before the Home team used a jumpshot to cut the lead to 52-50, Guests, with 15 seconds remaining.
On the Guests inbounds pass, full court pressing by Bentley caused a loose ball, allowing the Home team one more shot to win it off the turnover by the Guests. Bentley was then fouled, swishing the first free throw, but missing the second, cutting the lead to 52-51, Guests.
A mad scramble ensued on the rebound attempt, with the ball going out of bounds and it was eventually ruled the Home teams ball. Homes final shot at the buzzer came from a well-contested Bentley, whose 3-pointer missed, allowing the Guest team its 52-51 triumph.
The Guest teams Montgomery said it felt good not just to win, but to be back on the court with old friends.
It feels good, said Montgomery, a member of the Bears 2001-02 championship team. We still see each other all of the time. Most of us try to stay in touch, but it feels good to come out and play basketball with them again.
We didnt lose a game on this court my senior year, said Bryan Hayes, another member of the Bears championship team. We beat Hayesville by 40 here in our last game. That was a big win for us that allowed us to go to Hickory.
Hickory is where the Bears played in the Regionals and eventually went on to win the state title.
The Bears beat Plymouth 63-58 to win the 2001-02 state championship.
When asked how well he played in that state title game, Hayes and his two former teammates laughed.
I didnt score any, but I did what I had to do, Hayes said as Goins and Montgomery laughed.
Levi (Goins) had 11, Montgomery said with a chuckle.
Goins favorite memory of the title game was coming out of the locker room and seeing Carolina Blue.
Coming out of the locker room, and walking onto North Carolinas home court, that was my favorite memory, Goins said. When we were getting our medals, we could see all the jerseys hanging. You cant really take it all in until after the games over, and youre like, Wow, some good players have played here.
Goins said it was nice to be on the court with Mount Airy players Saturday who he watched when he was growing up.
Terrence Lightborne and Kevin Hill helped us out a lot, so we didnt feel like the oldest guys here, Goins said. It was good to get together with those guys again.
Hayes added just three words in his closing thought about the Bears basketball program.
Go Mount Airy, he said emphatically.

Contact Justin Nuzzo at [email protected] or 719-1922.

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