The Monroe City girls basketball team couldn't climb out of an early hole in a 66-53 loss to California in Jefferson City on Saturday morning.

The Monroe City girls basketball team couldn't climb out of an early hole in a 66-53 loss to California in Jefferson City on Saturday morning.

California drained five 3-pointers in the first quarter to take a 26-14 lead after eight minutes of play.

Jada Summers scored 10 of her team-high 21 points for Monroe City in the second period to pull the Lady Panthers to within 37-29 at the intermission. 

Delanie Okenfuss added nine of her 15 points in the first half to keep Monroe City in the ballgame.

Lauren Youngblood, Riley Quinn and Emilie Okenfuss each made buckets in the third quarter, but the Lady Panthers couldn't gain ground and trailed by 10 entering the fourth. 

The Lady Pintos erupted for four more threes in the final period to secure the victory. 

Gracie George led California with 24 points in the win. 

Youngblood (7) and Quinn (6) combined for 13 points in the losing effort. 

Monroe City is scheduled to host Palmyra on Tuesday night.