By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
MG shuts down Monroe
Monroe's Desmond Ford scores on an inbounds play under the basket during the first quarter of a home game against Monona Grove Friday. Monona Grove beat Monroe 39-24. (Times photo: Anthony Wahl)
MONROE - For Logan Weckerly, the key trying to penetrate Monona Grove's smothering defense called for more movement after the Silver Eagles rolled to a 39-24 win over Monroe Friday.

With a basketball team filled with football players, the Silver Eagles bottled up the Cheesemakers' offense. The Cheesemakers went through a 10-minute scoring drought from the second quarter that spanned into the third. The Silver Eagles led by as many as 18 points in the second half.

"We just needed more guys to drive to the basket," said Weckerly, who scored a team-high five points. "I think everyone was scared. No one was driving to the basket to try to get fouled and get free throws. We need to set screens and cut harder to the basket. We were just jogging for most of the first half. If we cut harder who knows what will happen."

Monona Grove (4-1, 3-1 Badger South) out-rebounded the Cheesemakers 22-10 in the second half. With the loss, Monroe drops to 2-5, 0-3.

"We are in a tough league," Monroe coach Pat Murphy said. "We knew coming in it would be pretty tough. I told them if we hold a team to 40 points we have to like our chances in the second half. When you can't string together any offense it's pretty tough."

Early on, both teams struggled in the first quarter. Both teams went 4 minutes or more without a basket in the period. Monroe senior Desmond Ford scored on a layup with 2 minutes, 41 seconds to go in the first quarter to cut the Silver Eagles' lead to 4-2.

Weckerly drilled a 3-pointer with 2:52 left in the second quarter to slice the Silver Eagles' lead to 10-7. That is as close as the Cheesemakers would get as they tried to battle back from an 18-7 deficit at the half. The Silver Eagles went on a 14-0 run that spanned from the second quarter into the third that coincided with the Cheesemakers' scoring drought.

Monona Grove freshman Mitch Kelsey, who scored a game-high 10 points, scored on a layup and senior teammate Joel McDonnell scored down low with 2:34 to go in the third quarter to extend the Silver Eagles lead to 24-7. The Cheesemakers went through a 4-minute stretch in the third quarter taking just three shots.

"I thought we would be able to go by them," Murphy said. "We just couldn't drive by them. They cover up well. We just have to keep working."

Murphy wasn't happy to see the Silver Eagles grabbed nine offensive rebounds in the second half.

"To hold them under 40 points when they probably had 10-plus extra possessions because of offensive rebounds, that is incredible," he said. "You work on boxing out and rebounding. For whatever reason, they got their hands on a lot more loose balls than we did."

Monroe sophomore Alex Tordoff scored five points and had five rebounds. Junior teammate Ben Latimer was limited to three points and he grabbed six rebounds.

Monona Grove's Jackson Riley scored just three points, but he had nine rebounds and two blocks. Monona Grove senior Zach Stinson added eight points. The Silver Eagles struggled from the free-throw line making just 13 of 32 free throws. The Cheesemakers struggled to capitalize from the field shooting just 21.6 percent (8 of 37).

Weckerly sees several areas the Cheesemakers need to improve.

"We need to have more guys step up on offense," Weckerly said. "We just can't have two or three guys shooting. We have to box out and not let them get so many second-chance opportunities."