By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Stoughton stymies Monroe
Monroe senior Alacia Keegan looks to shoot in the lane and is swarmed by Stoughtons Marissa Robson (42) and two other players in the Cheesemakers 50-24 loss to the Vikings Thursday. (Times photo: Mark Nesbitt)
MONROE - A cold shooting spell doomed the Monroe girls basketball team in a 50-24 loss to Stoughton Thursday.

Monroe (2-6, 1-3 Badger South) went 17 minutes, 27 seconds without a basket trying to attack Stoughton's stifling man-to-man defense. The Cheesemakers got off to an inauspicious start not hitting a field goal in the first half. The Vikings jumped out to a 9-1 lead in the first quarter and used a 15-2 run in the first half to open up a double-digit lead.

"We are trying to get to the upper level and get more consistent," Monroe coach Sam Mathiason said of the Badger South Conference. "We just have to find a way to play more possessions consistently."

The Vikings feature three starters 5-foot-10 or taller, led by 6-1 sophomore Marissa Robson. The Cheesemakers shot 0-for-15 in the first half, and trailed 27-9 at the half. The Cheesemakers made 9 of 13 free throws in the first half.

"They have enough size and quickness to keep you on the perimeter," Mathiason said. "I knew their defense would be solid. I knew they wouldn't give us any easy looks inside. They have so much size and big bodies that when you think you are open for a shot, it is contested. We had some open looks. They just didn't drop. A game of basketball when your shot is going in, it's easy to take the next shot. When your shot is not going in, there is more pressure and there is more tenseness."

Monroe sophomore Lexi Hilliard, who scored a team-high seven points, knocked down a jumper in the lane with 6 minutes, 33 seconds left in the third quarter to snap the cold spell to cut the Vikings' lead to 31-11.

"They had size and played really good defense," Hilliard said. "It was really hard to drive. We had to run the offense. We had to wait for a good shot and take what we could get. We just have to keep our heads up and keep playing hard."

Stoughton sophomore Kendra Halverson scored a game-high 12 points and Robson had 11 points and seven rebounds.

The Cheesemakers shot 35 percent in the second half (6 of 17) and finished the game at 18 percent (6 of 32). The Cheesemakers committed 17 turnovers.

"We just have to work on the fundamentals and little things, and the bigger things will come," Hilliard said.

The Cheesemakers played a 2-3 zone for the first three quarters. After getting off to a slow start, the Vikings found their rhythm shooting 45 percent in the first half and finished the game at 34 percent (16 of 46).

"We played a zone because I was a little afraid of what they would be able to do with their dribble drive," Mathiason said. "We just didn't do what we needed to do in our transition defense a couple of possessions, and they got layups. I think for the most part our defense gave us a chance."

Monroe will look to rebound when the Cheesemakers play at McFarland at 7:15 p.m. Dec. 30.