For the first time in Monroe City boys’ basketball coach Brock Edris’ tenure as coach, the Panthers have a two game winning streak. The Panthers accomplished the feat with a 62-51 win over Bowling Green Friday night in the consolation championship of the 70th Annual Tony Lenzini Basketball Tournament in Palmyra.
“This is a big win for our team,” Edris said. “In the last two years that I have been here, this is the fifth consolation game that we have played in. Usually we are going in as being the No. 7 or 8 seed and we were the eight seed here. We beat the fifth seed in Van-Far. This was a big confidence booster for our kids. It is our second win in a row and the two years that I have been here, we haven’t won two games in a row.”
The first quarter was a battle between Monroe City and Bowling Green, but it was the Bobcats who came out on top 12-10 after the opening eight minutes of play.
“Things were kind of back and forth in the first quarter,” Edris said. “I thought we did a pretty good job on some of their better players and forced some tough shots.”
In the second quarter, Monroe City outscored Bowling Green 15-10 and took a 25-22 lead into the break.
After the intermission, Monroe City came out and added to its lead. The Panthers outscored the Bobcats 13-10 to take a 38-32 lead into the final eight minutes of play. Scott Hoover scored more than half of the Panthers’ third quarter points on a pair of buckets and a three-pointer.
Once the fourth quarter got going, the Panthers’ offense really kicked into gear. The Panthers scored 24 points over the final eight minutes of play. Half of Monroe City’s scoring in the fourth quarter came from Blake Rodgers.
Rodgers had 12 points in the fourth quarter and led the Panthers with 18 points overall. Rodgers was one of three Panthers to finish the night in double figures.
“He is finding ways to score,” Edris said. “He did well and had a few and ones (recording the bucket while drawing a foul and making the free throw) down in the low post.”
Also scoring in double figures were Grant O’Bryan and Kyle Fulton. O’Bryan finished with 17 points while Fulton turned in 13 points. O’Bryan hit three treys for the Panthers and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe.
“Grant O’Bryan has shot the ball really well the last couple of games,” Edris said. “Kyle Fulton had the dunk on the baseline and he was being aggressive while attacking the rim. But he shot the ball well too.”
Page 2 of 2 - Edris was pleased with the way his team played Friday night.
“I really think the last two games that we have played, we have played hard,” Edris said. “We played a lot better team basketball and worked to get good shots. They kids have stepped up and we shot the ball pretty well.”
With the win, Monroe City improves to 5-12 on the season. Monroe City will be back out on the hardwood on Tuesday when the Panthers play Clark County.