PALMYRA, Mo. | After closing out the regular season facing each other, district foes Monroe City and Macon met again in the district quarterfinals at Palmyra High School on Tuesday.
No. 1 seeded Monroe City defeated No. 8 seeded Macon 59-27, as the Panthers won against the Tigers for the second time in the past five days. The Panthers had previously defeated the Tigers 63-50 at home Friday.
“I think it was good for our guys to see how well Macon played the last time we played,” said Monroe City head coach Brock Edris. “It was kind of an eye-opener for our guys … Macon is very capable of making it a ballgame and we knew we were going to have to play much better if we want to keep moving on."
The Panthers held the Tigers to under 10 points in three out of four quarters of play, as Macon reached a high point of 11 points in the second quarter. The Tigers would only score two points in the final quarter.
Edris said he thought his team played better on defense in Tuesday's game than in the previous matchup against Macon.
“It's win or go home,” Edris said. “Our guys played a lot smarter basketball. We guarded the ball a lot better, we helped each other and were fortunate with shots in the second quarter to make things a lot smoother.”
Monroe City did an excellent job of rebounding and getting second-chance points, which Edris thought was key.
“We always want to try to out-rebound our opponent and play physical defense in the lane,” Edris said.
Monroe City sophomore Joshua Talton led the team with 13 points and was 5-for-6 from the free throw line. Both Bryce Stark and Josiah Talton tied for second with 12 points.
The Panthers would come away with eight 3-pointers, including four from Josiah Talton.
Edris said his team was not very successful in 3-point shots in the first half, but improved as the game went on.
“Shooting is one of those things that is contagious,” Edris said. “Once a few guys start making them, then everybody kind of settles in, relaxes and are able to hit shots.”
Macon freshman guard Maurice Magruder led his team with six points, with freshman guard Boston Douglas adding five points.
Up next – Monroe City will play Clark County in the district semifinals on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Palmyra High School.
Scoring by quarter
MC – 11 | 16 | 19 | 11 – 59
MAC – 5 | 11 | 9 | 2 – 27