The Monroe City girls basketball team scored the first 12 points of the Clopton Tournament semifinals against Silex en route to a 75-26 thumping.
The Monroe City girls basketball team did not have a scheduled practice on Wednesday, but it was able to work on a few things anyway.
The Lady Panthers scored the first 12 points of the game against Silex and never looked back en route to a 75-26 thumping of the Lady Owls.
The lopsided victory keeps the Lady Panthers undefeated on the season as they advance to the championship game of the 22nd Clopton Invitational.
“We are just looking to get better for the next game,” junior Jada Summers said. “(Tonight) was kind of like a practice, but the main thing is we all just want to work on getting better.”
The Monroe City defense set the tone early in the game. The Lady Panthers forced Silex into 14 turnovers in the first eight minutes of play.
For the game, Silex turned the ball over 37 times as Monroe City defenders came away with 20 steals.
“Our defense was good tonight,” Summers stated. “We were able to get positioned in front of them like we needed to and we were able to get a lot of steals because of it.”
Emilie Okenfuss led the Lady Panthers with seven swipes. Summers, Delanie Okenfuss and Riley Quinn all added three steals a piece.
“We didn’t practice for very long (on Tuesday), but the girls really got after it defensively for about an hour and 15 minutes,” Lady Panthers coach Cody Leonard said. “I told them if they want to win this tournament they are going to have to give that kind of effort, and tonight I thought that is exactly what they did.”
Monroe City led 23-2 after the first period and 44-11 at halftime.
With the commanding lead, Leonard was able to rotate numerous players in and out of the lineup throughout the entire game.
All 12 girls listed on the Lady Panthers roster saw multiple minutes in the game, while 10 of the players scored.
“Even the girls who do not get a ton of minutes every game, they are all just as important to the success of this team as everyone else,” the Lady Panthers coach said. “They all work their tails off in practice, doing a good job of getting us prepared for the next game. And when given the opportunity they all are showing they are not too bad themselves.”
Summers led the way for Monroe City with a game-high 20 points. Emilie Okenfuss added 16 points, while Madi Hays tossed in 12.
Lila Yager knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to finish with six points off the bench.
“It’s good for them to get the experience,” Summers said of the bench players. “And I think they all are doing a great job.”
Monroe City (11-0) will face host Clopton in Friday’s championship game.
The No. 2-seeded Lady Hawks defeated No. 3 seed Elsberry, 47-26, in Wednesday night’s second semifinal game.
Tipoff will be 7:30 p.m.