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Monroe falls in OT
Monroe senior Alex Tordoff puts up a shot against Monona Grove junior Jake Schroeckenthaler during Tuesdays game at the high school. Tordoff scored a game-high 38 points in the Cheesemakers 79-78 overtime loss to the Silver Eagles. To order this photo, click here. (Times photos: Marissa Weiher)
MONROE - If Monroe High School senior Alex Tordoff would have been playing a game of Horse on Tuesday, he would have been tough to beat.

Tordoff torched Monona Grove for a game-high and career-high 38 points, including seven 3-pointers, but the Silver Eagles held off the upset-minded Cheesemakers 79-78 in overtime.

"He has been getting better and better every week," Monroe coach Brian Bassett said of Tordoff. "He's been on fire the last month. I can't say enough about Alex. Sometimes seniors get to the point where they just mail it in. He's one of the most coachable kids. Sometimes for him he's not selfish enough."

Monona Grove 6-foot-6 junior Jake Schroeckenthaler was a thorn in the side of Monroe, scoring a team-high 35 points to lead the Silver Eagles.

"Our team has a lot of heart, but unfortunately we don't have a lot of size," Bassett said. "We don't have anyone who can guard him. That was the big difference in the game. He's the best post player in the conference right now hands down. Despite giving up 6 inches and about 40 pounds we tried to limit him to one shot. I think we did that. He was just really efficient in making a lot of first shots."

Monroe senior Tyler Elmer, who added 17 points, scored on a layup to tie the game at 64 with 1 minute, 25 seconds to go. Monona Grove senior Mitch Kelsey missed a jumper in the waning seconds, and the Cheesemakers couldn't corral the rebound and the ball rolled out of bounds with 0.4 seconds to go. Schroeckenthaler's shot at the buzzer was off, and the game went to overtime.

The Cheesemakers trailed by five points in the extra session when Tordoff drilled a 3-pointer to cut the Silver Eagles' lead to 69-67. The Silver Eagles' lead then grew to six points, and Tordoff knocked down a 3-pointer to slice the deficit to 73-70.

The Silver Eagles hit all of their free throws down the stretch to seal the win. Schroeckenthaler made 11 of 12 free throws in the game.

The result gave Monona Grove coach Dan Zweifel his 250th career win.

"He's a class act," Bassett said.

Monroe senior Carter Sawdey chipped in 12 points.

Tordoff carried Monroe early on, scoring the first 14 points for the Cheesemakers. The Silver Eagles opened the game with an 11-5 run. Tordoff's hot shooting kept the Cheesemakers in the game. He drilled a 3-pointer to cut the Silver Eagles' lead to 12-11 with 9 minutes, 30 seconds left.

After Schroeckenthaler scored on a putback late in the first half to give the Silver Eagles a 31-21 lead, Tordoff answered by knocking down a 3-pointer. Elmer came up with a steal and hit a 3-pointer from halfcourt late in the first half to cut the Silver Eagles' lead to 35-27 at the break.

While Tordoff scored 19 of his 38 points in the first half, the Cheesemakers also were plagued by nine turnovers in the first half.

"We had one of our worst first halves of the year," Bassett said. "We just had a lot of uncharacteristic turnovers. We were throwing the ball out of bounds. I don't know if the moment was too big for them."

The Cheesemakers didn't go quietly in the second half. Tordoff made a 3-pointer to slice the Silver Eagles' lead to 40-34 with 15:25 left. Monona Grove's Brad Hanson hit a 3-pointer, and Schroeckenthaler scored down low to push the lead to 49-38.

Sawdey scored on a layup and junior Brayden Zettle knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the Silver Eagles' lead to 51-43 about midway through the second half. Zettle drilled a second 3-pointer with about 7:30 left to slice the Silver Eagles' lead to 56-50.

Elmer scored on a layup to cut the Silver Eagles' lead to 58-54. Elmer knocked down a jumper to help the Cheesemakers take a 62-60 lead. That set the stages for a dramatic finish.

"We had one of our best halves of the year in the second half," Bassett said. "We talked after the game about how guys fought hard in the second half."