Back on the court after suffering its first loss of the season, the Monroe City girls basketball team rebounded well enough to take home the third place trophy in the Clopton Tournament. The Lady Panthers beat Christian 45-30.

“We didn’t put any extra pressure on,” Monroe City coach Cody Leonard said. “We just wanted to get back to playing our way. That is the one good thing about this tournament, you play teams that you never see. You learn from it and keep on going.”

While the score makes it look like a one-sided effort, the game was actually a tale of two halves.

Christian outscored Monroe City in both the first and second quarter. Christian took a 11-10 lead after the first eight minutes of play. Christian outscored Monroe City 13-12 in the second quarter to extend its lead.

The Lady Panthers went into the break trailing 24-22.

But, once the second half got under way, the Lady Panthers defense picked up. Monroe City scored 13 points in the third quarter while limiting Christian to just 2 points. That gave the Lady Panthers their first lead of the game, 35-26.

Heading into the final eight minutes of play, Monroe City didn’t let up. The Lady Panthers again went to town, outscoring Christian 10-4.

“We played defensively the way we are capable of,” Leonard said. “We stayed in front of our men and kept on playing that way,”

With all the scoring the Lady Panthers had, they did not register a single three-pointer in the game. Leonard said that was a first for him, but he was ok with it.

“I am fine with it,” Leonard said. “Our shot chart looked the way it needs to look. All our makes were right there by the bucket.”

Carly Spalding finished with 20 points and was the only Lady Panther to record double-figure scoring. Kelly Winking turned in 8 points while Leah Albus and Kiette Mundy each had 6 points.

With the win, Monroe City improves to 11-1 on the season. Next up for the Lady Panthers is at Macon on Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.