The Monroe City boys basketball team scored 22 points in the fourth quarter to come away with a 63-62 win over Palmyra on Tuesday.
Ryan Wood had seen this movie before.
Unfortunately for the Palmyra coach, the ending didn't change.
Visiting Palmyra used an 8-0 run to grab a 15-7 lead over Monroe City after the first eight minutes of play.
Palmyra continued to add to its lead until the fourth quarter.
Monroe City scored 22 points in the final frame Tuesday to come away with a 63-62 Clarence Cannon Conference win.
“We have had three or four games now where we have had double-digit leads and just failed to finish them off,” the Palmyra coach said. “Have to learn how to finish these games. Until we do, this is what happens.”
Palmyra led 31-19 at the half and 47-41 heading into the final eight minutes of play.
C.E. Talton pulled Monroe City even on a 3-pointer with 1 minute, 50 seconds left in the game.
Monroe City grabbed a 61-58 lead 21 seconds later when Blake Hays came up with a steal and completed an old-fashioned three-point play.
A drive by Laithan Sublette pulled Palmyra to within 61-60 with 66 seconds left.
After Dalton McAfee sank a pair of free throws to push the lead back to three points, Sublette again made a drive to the basket. He would be fouled on the play and hit both free throws with 13.3 seconds left.
Monroe City turned the ball back over to Palmyra after being whistled for a 3-second violation in the lane with nine seconds left.
Two shots in the final seconds fell short for Palmyra, giving Monroe City its second win in three games over its conference rival this season.
Wood explained the final possession.
“Laithan and Bill (Nunnelly) did the best job of getting to the basket all game, so the play was set up for Laithan to get a high-ball screen and get to the basket,” the Palmyra coach stated. “He did a good job of getting to the middle, they collapsed and he kicked it out, which we had plenty of time. We got (two) decent looks.
“But we had other opportunities to win this game. It was a good game by both teams, but of course we are a little disappointed.”
Monroe City coach Brock Edris mentioned his team did a better job of spreading the ball around in the second half, which enabled the host Panthers to make the comeback.
“When you go into halftime with only 19 points at the varsity level, it’s usually not a good thing,” the MC coach said. “But I thought we did a better job of moving the ball around in the second half and got some offense going.”
It also helps having Talton.
The dynamic playmaker, who scored 45 points in the Panthers win over Blair Oaks on Saturday, scored 22 of his game-high 34 points in the second half.
“He is one of — if not the best — player in the area,” Wood said. “But we just gave up way too many good looks in the second half. You can’t give up 44 points in a half and expect to win.”
Nunnelly led Palmyra with 16 points, while Sublette and Peyton Plunkett added 14 a piece in the loss.
Palmyra connected on 24 of 31 free throws in the game.
Hays was the only other player to reach double figures for Monroe City with 10 points.
Monroe City improved to 19-3 on the season, while Palmyra fell to 15-7.
Both teams are back in action Friday night, as Monroe City travels to Centralia — which is unbeaten in CCC play — and Palmyra plays host to Louisiana.