For the first time since 2000, the Monroe City girls’ basketball team has had a player reach 1000 career points. Senior Carly Spalding became the Lady Panthers’ newest member of the 1000 point club during the fourth quarter of Monroe City’s 56-39 win over South Shelby Friday night. Spalding came into the game needing 13 points to reach the mark and finished the night with 16.

“I think she is the first player, girls-wise, to score 1,000 points for Monroe City since 2000,” Monroe City coach Cody Leonard said. “That was a pretty big thing.”

South Shelby was made aware of the impending milestone before the game and when Spalding reached the mark (at the free throw line), it was announced to the entire crowd.

“We stopped the game and they made an announcement for us,” Leonard said. “I told her I am not giving her a ball until our banquet and we will put her career points on there.”

Trailing by two points, 24-22, at the start of the third quarter, Monroe City outscored South Shelby at a 3-to-1 clip in the third quarter to take a 37-29 lead. Heading into the fourth quarter, Monroe City expanded its lead as the Lady Panthers outscored South Shelby 19-10.

“We made adjustments defensively,” Leonard said. “That took them out of what they were doing. We were then able to get out and run and get some deflections and some steals and when we are getting layups in open court, that is usually a good sign for us.”

Monroe City jumped out to a 13-8 lead in the first quarter, but it didn’t last. South Shelby came battling back in the second quarter. The Lady Cardinals outscored Monroe City 16-9 to take a slim halftime lead.

“We were down by two going into halftime,” Leonard said. “We made some adjustments defensively. We played a whole lot better and forced some turnovers. We had only one steal in the first half and I think we ended the game with 11. The second half was a completely different team, we played a whole lot better.”

Spalding wasn’t the only Lady Panther to have a double figure scoring game. Leah Albus hit four three-pointers and finished the night with 15 points while Kiette Mundy hit a pair of threes and chipped in 13 points.

“Leah (Albus) shot the ball wonderful tonight,” Leonard said. “She had four threes and she is our three-point shooter. It was good see, and she was aggressive. Kiette (Mundy) had another good game. She just keeps chipping away there and playing aggressive. Her (Mundy) and Carly (Spalding) at the top there with our pressure and our defense, that sets us up pretty good.”

With the win, Monroe City improves to 18-3 on the season and 4-1 in the Clarence Cannon Conference. The Lady Panthers will start a three game homestand on Tuesday when Monroe City hosts Highland.