MONROE CITY, Mo. | The third quarter was the difference in the girls' basketball game between conference foes Monroe City and Palmyra at Monroe City High School.
Palmyra put up 22 points in the third quarter, which helped them secure a 62-53 win over Monroe City.
“I thought the third quarter was a huge turning point,” said Palmyra head coach Chris Parsons. “Offensively, our big (players) kind of took over inside for us and wore them down. We got a few steals, Isabelle Goldinger hit a couple of big buckets for us and I just thought we were able to run lots of girls in and out tonight, and eventually wore them down.”
Both teams were neck-and-neck in the first half, with Palmyra taking a 22-21 lead to half. Palmyra would then double their point total in the third quarter, scoring 22 points.
Monroe City would put up 14 points in the third quarter, which was more than they scored in either the first or second quarter. However, Palmyra had expanded their lead from one point to nine points in the third quarter.
“They hit some shots and we couldn't get anything to fall,” said Monroe City head coach Cody Leonard. “We missed eight free throws in that quarter. That's killer. Those are points that we need against a team like that. You can't shoot that bad from the free throw line.”
Leonard said his team played well enough to keep it close, but need to improve on the little things.
“(Our team) was locked in defensively,” Leonard said. “We threw a bunch of different stuff out there at Palmyra. Our defense played pretty well, but you have to convert those little bunnies. Got to convert in the paint and got to make free throws.”
Monroe City and Palmyra had almost identical scoring in the other three quarters of play, as both teams scored scored 12 points in the second quarter and 18 points in the fourth quarter.
Parsons said this rivalry between conference foes is always a tough game.
“I thought we rebounded well tonight,” Parsons said. “There were definitely times they got second chance points, but we limited our turnovers. We came in with a game plan of pounding the inside tonight and I thought Rylie McKinney and Amy Bryan did a good job of fighting for us. I thought our guards did a tremendous job for us. That's the big difference, we had Riley Quinn in foul trouble early and I think that kind of changed the game, when they had to change their lineup.”
Palmyra senior Bailey Lovelace led her team in scoring with 15 points. Two other players reached double-digit scoring, with McKinney and Goldinger both adding 12 points.
Monroe City junior Hallie Dyer led her team in scoring with 14 points. Bailee Hays was second on the team with 10 points.
Palmyra improves their record to 19-2, while Monroe City is now 13-9.
Up next – Monroe City will travel to Centralia on Friday for a 6 p.m. game. Palmyra will travel to Hannibal on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. game.
Scoring by quarter
MC – 9 | 12 | 14 | 18 – 53
PAL – 10 | 12 | 22 | 18 – 62