Morgan defense shuts down Monroe for crown

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 9, 2006

Morgan Academy coach David Walker knew that if his team committed 30 turnovers like it did against Fort Dale Academy in the opening round of the Class AAA West Area 4 Tournament, that he would be coming home with a runner-up trophy.

So the gameplan was simple.

Cut down on the turnovers and play good defense.

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The Senators (9-11) did both and came away with a convincing 44-23 victory over Monroe Academy to capture the area tournament title on Thursday.

&#8220Our defense was great all night long,” Walker said. &#8220We played as good as we could tonight.”

Morgan Academy limited the Volunteers (16-9) to just 8 second-half points en route to the win.

&#8220I think there must have been a lid on the rim there in the second half,” Monroe Academy coach Ricky Raines said about his team's lack of offense. &#8220Give credit to Morgan, they played a good ballgame. We just couldn't get our shots to fall tonight.”

After battling to a 9-all stalemate in the first period, Morgan edged ahead by hitting timely field goals and holding Monroe scoreless for the last three minutes before intermission.

John Porter and Weston Mason drained back-to-back buckets in the final three minutes to give the Senators a 22-15 cushion at the half.

From there, the wheels just fell off for Monroe.

The Volunteers could not buy as basket for the entire second half. Monroe managed to hit its only field goal in the final period with 1:47 left to play.

&#8220I hope that our defense had something to do about that,” Walker said.

Rett Rivers led the Senators with 14 points, including three clutch 3-pointers in the first half to keep Morgan in the game.

Porter added nine and tournament most valuable player Blake South added seven.

Trent Dawson was one of just three Volunteers to earn an entry in the scorebook. Dawson led Monroe with 10 points, while Todd Kilpatrick had eight.

Morgan now await its opponent in the regional tournament, which will be played a Huntingdon College. The Senators will face their opponent at 8 p.m. Saturday.