MONROE CITY, Mo. | The Monroe City boys basketball team won their second straight Clarence Cannon Conference title with its 63-50 home win over Macon on Friday night.
Monroe City head coach Brock Edris said it was quite an accomplishment to win the conference title for the second straight year.
“I takes six or seven games to do that in a tough conference and we done it back-to-back years, which is a hard feat to do,” Edris said. “So, I'm proud of them for that. We've got some more long-term goals that are not too far away coming up with districts her. We got to take it one game at a time. No game is ever going to be given, you got to earn every win.”
The Panthers held the lead the entire game, but the Tigers made it a competitive contest. For much of the game, Monroe City only held a four to six point lead.
Monroe City came through in the fourth quarter, outscoring Macon by seven points to secure victory. All but five of the Panthers 19 fourth quarter points came from the free throw line.
“We got some guys on the free throw line that hit some free throws,” Edris said. “We struggled on the offensive end shooting the basketball. Fortunately, we were able to get a lot of offensive rebounds in the second half to give us some extra opportunities.”
Friday's game was a tough physical game for both teams, as they combined for 40 personal fouls and one technical foul.
“I think both teams tried to guard each other hard,” Edris said. “Both teams were diving for loose balls. I was proud of the way we took charges on some drives. We are going to do a better job this coming Tuesday of guarding the basketball and limiting some of those scores on the rim. Trying not to foul as much and keeping them off the free throw line.”
Panthers junior Logan Buhlig led the team with 11 points, while Ethan Lehenbauer and Bryce Stark both scored 10 points. Monroe City had 10 different players score for them in Friday's win.
“It's kind of been the consistent theme this year to have different guys stepping up in big moments for us,” Edris said. “Not relying on one person to do all the scoring. I think it makes it hard for teams to defend when they have to count on everybody.”
Macon freshman Maurice Magruder scored a team-high 16 points, and Boston Douglas was second with 13 points.
Monroe City closes out their regular season with a 23-2 record.
Up next – Monroe City will play Macon again on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. This time in the district quarterfinals at Palmyra High School.
Edris said his team will need to guard off the dribble better and limit their fouls on Tuesday.
“Macon really came in (on Friday) and they played like they are the underdog and have a chip on their shoulder,” Edris said. “They got a lot of young guys playing, a lot of talen and they played really well. We will see each other again on Tuesday.”
Scoring by quarter
MC – 18 | 10 | 16 | 19 – 63
MAC – 13 | 10 | 15 | 12 – 50