MONTGOMERY — The last thing the Montgomery Bears wanted to see on their home court Tuesday was a huge Huntsville celebration.

That’s why the playoff-bound Bears brought their “A” game to the gym on senior night and threw a serious scare at the Hornets.

Undefeated in District 18-4A play through the first 11 games, Huntsville wanted to finish what it started back before Christmas. The Hornets never panicked even when they trailed by 11 points midway through the second quarter. They hung tough and kept the faith.

Junior guard Justin Ennis scored 14 points in the second quarter and helped Huntsville erase most of the Bears’ big lead. Senior guard Drae Murray heated up in the second half, scoring all but three of his game-high 22 points and leading the Hornets to a 69-59 victory.

The win capped a 12-0 run through the District 18-4A season. Huntsville (25-5) also finished the regular season on an 18-game winning streak. The Hornets have not lost since Dec. 11 when they dropped a nondistrict game to Houston’s St. Pius High School.

“It’s good. Anytime you go undefeated in any district, that’s an accomplishment,” Murray said. “It feels great, but we aren’t done yet. I like this team a lot. We’re playing well together. We have other goals we’re shooting for, and I think we can accomplish those goals.”

The Hornets head to the Class 4A state playoffs as the two-time champs of District 18-4A. Last year, Huntsville lost to Brenham late in the district season. This time around, Montgomery made a large group of Huntsville fans nervous for a while Tuesday, but the Hornets never flinched.

“We took it one step further,” junior George Perry said. “Last year’s team lost one (district) game, and this year we went undefeated.”

Perry began the Hornets’ rally when he hustled to the basket and tipped in an errant shot. Ennis swished a 3-pointer from the left corner to bring Huntsville within seven at 28-21. Before the second period ended, Ennis added seven more points, including a nifty scoop shot that found the net just before the halftime buzzer sounded.

Montgomery led 30-29 at the break, but like Waller did in its second meeting with the Hornets, coach Don Johnson’s Montgomery bunch had given the Hornets their best shot and Huntsville was still standing. The Hornets were standing and ready for more.

Huntsville soared out and outscored the Bears 23-11 in the third quarter. Murray drained three triples and scored 13 points in the period. Perry and Howard Brown added four points each as the Hornets went from one down to 11 up.

“That’s what you expect from your senior leader, what you expect from a guy who’s been on the varsity since his sophomore year,” Hornets coach Doug Anderson said of Murray’s impressive offensive outburst.

Montgomery (8-4 in 18-4A, 18-12 overall) did not go quietly. Twice, the Bears clawed back to within five points in the final period, but the Hornets hit nine of 12 free throws in the quarter to put the game on ice and start a short celebration.

“Our guys did a fantastic job this season,” Anderson said of the perfect run through district. “The credit goes to the kids. Somebody different stepped up every night and we overcame a lot of adversity.

“Tonight, Justin Gilbert did a tremendous job covering their big man. He also took the ball at him. When he did that, that took him out of the ballgame.”

Playing without center Kirby Ennis, who was serving a one-game suspension for violation of team rules, Gilbert drew the assignment of covering 6-foot-6 sophomore Chase Kamerer. Kamerer drove past Gilbert once, then hit a jump shot over Huntsville’s talented sophomore in the second quarter.

The Hornets attacked Kamerer in the second half, getting him in foul trouble and eventually getting him out of the game when Gilbert drove hard to the bucket and scored even though he was fouled.

Huntsville has a first-round playoff bye, but the Hornets have scheduled a warmup game Saturday in Houston. At 6:30 p.m., the Hornets will play Homeschooled Christian Youth Association, or HCYA, as part of the second annual High School Playoff Preview.