Monticello earned a hard-fought victory on Monday night, defeating Belleville 63-54 to improve to 9-0 on the season in boys basketball.
After trading early buckets, the Ponies began making their move in the last eight minutes of the first half. Monticello took advantage of 15 first-half turnovers by Belleville to take a five-point lead into the locker room.
Out of halftime, Monticello continued to pour it on, as Peter Gustafson scored 15 of his game-high 28 points in the second half. Bellevile sophomore Trevor Syse kept the Wildcats within reach, scoring 15 of his season-high 20 points in the second half, but Monticello maintained a double-digit lead for much of the second half.
Steady play by seniors Simon Blohowiak and Reece Rufer, who combined for 15 points, allowed Monticello to control the pace of the game.
In the last WisSports.net Coaches Poll, Monticello was ranked #7 in Division 5. Belleville was unranked, but played ranked teams such as Cuba City and Wauzeka-Steuben earlier in the season, and entered the game with a 5-1 record on the year.
Belleville fell to 5-2 on the year and travels to Watertown to take on Luther Prep Friday in a Capitol Conference crossover game, while Monticello will play Albany on the home floor Thursday night in Six Rivers Conference action.
MONTICELLO (9-0, 3-0): Peter Gustafson 28, Reece Rufer 8, Simon Blohowiak 7, Devin Holtz 7, Blake Klitzke 6, Owen Ace 4, Rudy Wicker 3
BELLEVILLE (5-2, 0-0): Trevor Syse 20, Sawyer Fahey 10, Kody Fahey 8, Carson Syse 7, Brody Duerst 3, Ogden York 2, Sean Hagen 2, Gavin Boyum 2