On The Road: Montgomery Leads Team

<b>CLAYTON, N.C. –</B> Wednesday night in the Big Eight South playoffs a pair of Division I players led their teams to win. Senior Mack Montgomery and junior Everson Simmons will face each other in the title game.

With his future college coach in the stands, Mack Montgomery helped guide Clayton High into the conference finals. Montgomery, a 6-4 swingman, and his team are undefeated in conference play this year.

In the semis, Columbia head coach Joe Jones looked on as Montgomery scored 20 points in Clayton's 76-35 romp over Harnett Central. The game was a laugher but it gave the first-year Lions coach a glimpse into the future.

Montgomery is the kind of skilled shooter that can helps the Lions. Wednesday night he was 6-for-10 from the floor and 5-for-6 from the line. He makes 3s with confidence and ease. The swingman is comfortable putting it on the floor, taking a dribble or two and pulling up. He's got size, athleticism and touch. Just what the doctored ordered in Jones' first recruiting class.

Montgomery is the all-time leader scorer in school history. He's got an outside shot at 2,000 career points and is averaging 23 for the season.

In the first game, South Johnston defeated West Johnston for the third time this year and advanced to Friday's conference title tilt against Montgomery & Co. Led by 6-4 junior small forward Everson Simmons, South won the game 58-50.

The 6-3+ Simmons scored 26 points on 11-for-14 shooting in a fine all-around effort. He also had 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 6 assists. He made a trio of 3-pointers.

Simmons has talent. He'll have a chance to be a mid-level Division I player. He's got a live body and 180 pounds looks like a natural for the small forward slot. Against West he simply made plays whether it was a drive and find or diving into the post to make a play. He's got a 3.3 GPA as well so he'll be one to watch.

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