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Boy's Sectional vs Cowan 3/4/14

March 5, 2014
Monroe Central Jr.- Sr. High School

Monroe Cen­tral's boys basketball team walked onto its homecourt Tues­day night ready for the big stage.

Tuesday was a holiday of sorts, the start of the boys bas­ketball
 state tournament, the biggest prep hoops event of the year in the most basketball­crazed state in the union. And the Golden Bears, they were ready for everything that en­tailed and played like it.

And poor Cowan took the brunt of that.

“You need to come in with a
 fire,” Monroe Central guard Chase Bly said. “You need to get some momentum to propel you forward.

“It’s tournament time so your
 record is 0-0. Every team is go­ing to bring it.”

Monroe Central stepped on the court locked in and quickly tore through the Blackhawks in an 84-35 win to open play in the Class A sectional. Liberty Chris­tian won the second game 78-31 against Daleville to advance to face Southern Wells, while the
 Golden Bears moved on to play Wes-Del in the semifinals Fri­day.

The formula for the Bears (14-8) mainly involved pressure and bombing away the perime­ter, and it started early.

Monroe Central pressed
 mercilessly in the first half, forcing the Black­hawks into 16 of their 31 turnovers.

On the other end, the Bears hit 60 percent of their first-half shots, led by Bly, who dropped in 5­of-9 3’s on the way to 19 of his 21 points. Bracken Barga scored eight early points to spark a 21-6 first quarter run to send Monroe Central off running.

“With a team like that, you have to give them something,” Cowan coach Mike King said. “What we’re trying to figure out is what we want to give them.Theyfoundoutwhat we were trying to give them and they took advan­tage.”

Clayton Kiplinger and Breydn Weston had 10 each for Cowan (1-20). But as a team, the Blackhawks only managed to shoot 40 percent, 0-for-11 on 3’s, while turning the ball over at a prolific rate.

The 84 points was a sea­son
 high for the Golden Bears this season, and it let coach Tom Byrum know something. As he watchedhisteamripoff18 of 20 points after falling behind 2-0 and his top shooters connecting, it brought a thought to the forefront of his mind.

“Immediately what I’m thinking is, ‘Yeah, it’s a good time to peak,’ ” By­rum said. “This is the time of year when you’ve got to be peaking “That’s when it counts.”

Monroe   Central:    Barga   6-11 1-1 16, Combs   5-8
2-2 15, Bly 8-13 0-0 21, Flesher 2-5 0-0 4, Col. Woolf
4-7 2-6 10, Cod. Woolf  2-6 1-2 5, Reum   0-0  0-0 0,
Sears 2-4 0-2 4, Drummer   0-2 2-2 2, Blevins 1-1 0-0
2, Brown 2-4 1-2  5.
 Totals: 32-61  9-18  84.

Cowan:    Kiplinger  4-6 2-6  10, Skinner  0-0 2-2  2,
Lowe 1-3 2-2 4, Brooks 2-5 0-0  4, Orebaugh  0-1 0-0
0, McCorkle 0-1 1-2  1, Lynn 0-1 0-0 0, Weston   4-6
2-2 10, Furniss 2-6 0-1 4, Auten  0-1 0-0  0, Neeley
0-2 0-0 0.
 Totals: 13-32  9-14 35.

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