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Monarchs Defeat State Ranked Bluejays

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Brianna Romme, Staff Writer

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Winning feels good.  It feels even better when you beat a 3A state ranked team.  The men’s basketball team defeated the Norton Bluejays on Friday, February 3 at Al Billinger Fieldhouse by a score of 55-49.

This year’s scrappy men’s team has been shocking the state with upsets.  The week prior the team almost beat the Abilene Cowboys but lost by one point with a final score of 58-57 proving they are a  force to be reckoned with and will not go down without a fight.

“We knew that we needed a win against Norton if we wanted any chance to play in the post-season or take the league title, we were all ready for a win after the loss to Abilene,” said junior Michael Lager, “We knew that if we could come that close to beating Abilene that we could beat Norton too.”

The Monarchs entered the half up by ten points.  In the locker room Head Coach Joe Hertel reminded the boys to execute plays and defense but did not focus on the score.

“He just reminded us [at halftime] that, at the time, it was still anybody’s game,” said lone senior Hayden Lowe.

“Coach said that our defense was working the way that we had planned,” said Lager, who led the team in points with eighteen, “We were knocking down good jump shots like we had been practicing.  We needed to come out even stronger in the second half.”

The Monarchs did just that.

At the beginning of the third quarter, the Bluejays scored seven points in the first two minutes cutting the Monarchs lead to 34-30. TMP would answer back with Lager and Kaleb Hagens scoring back-to-back buckets to extend their lead to eight points and going into the final period with a score of 42-34.

TMP would then use an 8-0 run to take their largest lead of the game, 54-41. Immediately answering back, Norton went on an 8-0 run of their own to close the gap to 54-49. Emerging victorious, the Monarchs pulled out the upset with a final score of 55-49. TMP improved to 8-7 on the year and 5-7 in MCL play.

The Monarchs will face another state ranked team, the Phillipsburg Panthers, on Friday, February 10, at Al Billinger Fieldhouse.

 

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Monarchs Defeat State Ranked Bluejays