The basketball seasons of the Monroe City boys and girls came to an end Wednesday night in Class 3 sectional round playoff action in Moberly.
The basketball seasons of the Monroe City boys and girls came to an end Wednesday night in Class 3 sectional round playoff action in Moberly. The boys game was a nailbiter which went to St. Paul Lutheran by a margin of 45-42. Trenton took the girls contest by a margin of 59-41. Lutheran built what would prove to be its margin of victory in the first half when it outscored Monroe City 21-16. In the second half the Panthers outscored its opponents 26-24. Leading Monroe City with 19 points was C.E. Talton. Twelve of his points came in the second half. Joshua Talton also reached double figures in scoring for Monroe City, finishing with 10 points, seven of which came over the final two quarters. "Our team played with a lot of confidence going into the post season and it was evident they were looking forward to another opportunity to play in the sectional game at Moberly Area Community College," said Brock Edris, coach of the Monroe City boys. "Unfortunately, sometimes things just don't go your way and we had many of those in the game last night. In the first quarter, our leading scorer (C.E. Talton) goes down with an ankle injury with uncertainty whether he would return and not long after Joshua Talton rolls his ankle. Both would return but not with the ability they are accustomed to and still managed to lead us in scoring." Edris applauded his team's defensive performance. "If you would have asked me before the game if we would win giving up 45 points I would have confidently said 'yes,'" he said. "However, we really struggled offensively to get in a rhythm and struggled shooting the ball from the perimeter. With under 20 seconds left in the game we managed to get a really good look from the top of the key to win the basketball game but like most other shots, it was just off the mark. "We shot 3-22 (13.6 percent) from the 3-point arc, which is usually a recipe for disaster. Our defense hung in there and gave ourselves a chance. We just came up one possession short." Edris said the loss was disappointing considering the amount of talent the team has. "What hurts the most as the coach, is knowing we had the talent and ability to make a longer postseason run and fell short of everything we had prepared ourselves for," he said. "I feel for our seniors, all the work they have put in over the years and helped build the program into one of the best teams in the state of Missouri. The entire season our team was ranked in the top 10 and as high as number 3 in the state." Despite the sectional setback the Panthers enjoyed a memorable season, according to Edris. "We finished the season 24-5, won the Monroe City Tournament, Clopton Tournament, Palmyra Tournament, Clarence Cannon Conference Championship, and 'three-peated' as district champions. That's quite a year and we couldn't have done it without all the efforts of our entire team," he said. "I'm so thankful for the opportunity to coach these young men, and while I will miss our seniors (C.E. Talton, Blake Hays, Zach Osborn, Kaelin Kendrick-O'Bryan, Jadon Underhill) tremendously, I know they have left a legacy within our basketball program that can be carried on for years and they will continue to do great things in the future." Edris also gave a salute to those who follow Monroe City basketball. "I can't thank our fans and community for all the support they gave our kids throughout the season. No matter what, it's great to be a Panther," he said. In the girls game, Monroe City played even with Trenton in the middle two quarters. In the first and fourth quarters Trenton outscored the Lady Panthers by a combined margin of 31-13. Jada Summers and Hallie Dyer reached double figures for Monroe City with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Despite the sectional loss Cody Leonard, Monroe City girls coach, was upbeat about what his squad had accomplished. "This young team had a great season (20-8). It fought through a lot of adversity," he said. "Jada Summers was a great leader for us for four years. We wish her all the best next year at Culver Stockton. "We just ran into a really good, senior-loaded team in Trenton. Nothing to hang our heads about. We will have a lot of returning players coming into next year. I am looking forward to what this group can achieve moving forward."