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Boys Varsity BB Sectional Championship 3/8/14

March 9, 2014
Monroe Central Jr.- Sr. High School

By Mike Bennett of the Star Press:


 Monroe Central had a strong glimpse at a boys basketball sectional title, especially in a first half that saw six three-pointers fall.

But Liberty Christian proved to be too quick and too opportunistic on Satur­day night. The result was the Lions’ third-consecutive ti­tle, 64-52, in the Class A sec­tional at Monroe Central.

The game was more close­ly played than the score ap­peared.

The Lions ratcheted up their defense in the second half of the game, especially in pressuring the perimeter of Monroe Central’s offense.

“We knew we had to pick up defensively,” said Frank­lin Nunn, who led Liberty Christian with 19 points and 10 rebounds. “We wanted to force them to drive more.”

That they did to good suc­cess and the Golden Bears had trouble mounting a strong inside game. They also hit only five of 11 free throws, while Liberty Chris­tian hit 19 of 27.

The Golden Bears made nine treys in finishing the season at 15-9. Liberty Chris­tian had just three treys, but made many close-in shot. They rose to 18-6.

Nunn led the Lions back
 with a third-quarter surge that put them ahead for the first time. They had trailed since Ja­cob Combs opened the scoring with a 3-point shot, his first of five for the game.

“I saw the first one go in and was in the groove after that,” Combs said. “We put it all out there to­night. I didn’t see it as un­fortunate that we lost to them for the third straight time in the sec­tional. I looked at it as a good challenge.”

The senior led the Golden Bears with 21 points. Jentry Flesher added seven, while Chase Bly, Bracken Barga and Jansen Blevins added six apiece.

A series of plays by Nunn helped drive the Li­ons into the lead and into the regional. He blocked a layup attempt by Mon­roe Central, which would have provided a 36-30 lead.

“It was a great defen­sive play,” said Monroe Central coach Tom By­rum.”

Nunn then exploded for a field goal off an in­bounds pass and then made a free throw after a field goal for 35-34 lead with 3:06 left in the third.

The Lions pulled
 ahead after that. They were aided by seven Golden Bears fouls before halfway through the third period. “They are a solid team without any weakness­es,” Combs said. “That was a big difference, tak­ing so many more foul shots.”

Combs had made the biggest difference in pushing Monroe Central to a 13-6 lead after one quarter and 27-23 at half­time.

He made four first­half treys and Bracken Barga two.

Inside player Preston Quinn scored 15 points and pulled down 10 re­bounds for the Lions. Chris Nunn added 13 points and Vincent Phil­lips 11.

Byrum said his team wasn’t looking for a mor­al victory against a very good team.

“I wouldn’t trade teams. They were just better than us (tonight),” he said. “We knew we could beat them.”

Franklin Nunn said the tough game helps get the Lions ready for the next step after three sec­tional titles in a row. “We are ready to get past re­gionals.”

Jake Combs said “They are a solid team without any weaknesses. That was a big difference, taking so many more foul shots.” 


Liberty Christian  64, Monroe    Central  52
At Parker  City
Liberty Christian:
   F. Nunn  6-11  7-7 19, C.
Nunn 3-8 7-10 13, Quinn  5-14 4-7 15, Bowen
2-5 0-0 6, Hyatt 0-3 0-0 0, Phillips 5-9 1-3 11.

 21-50 19-27 64.

Monroe  Central:   Barga  2-6 0-0 6, Combs  7-
14 2-3 21, Bly 1-5 3-4 6, Flesher 3-8  0-0 7,
Woolf 2-5 0-3 4,Reum  0-1 0-0 0,Drummer1-2
0-0 2, Blevins 3-7 0-1 6.
 Totals: 19-48 5-11 52.

Score   by quarters
Monr. Cent.    13   14    13   12    —    52
Lib.Christian    6   1 7   20   21    —    64

Three-point  field goals:   Monroe   Central 9
(Combs 5, Flesher  1, Bly 1, Barga 2); Libery
Christian 3 (Quinn 1, Bowen  2).
 Rebounds: Monroe Central  2 (Woolf 6, Barga  6); Liberty Christian 35 (Quinn  10, F. Nunn  10). Turn-
  Monroe    Central 14; Liberty Christian
 Fouls: Monroe  Central 19, Liberty Chris-
tian    13.
 Fouled  out:   None.

Monroe Central  (15-9) season ends.

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