Monroe connected on nine 3-pointers, three by Cade Meyer, who led all scorers with 24 points as the visiting Monona Grove High School boys basketball team lost its second straight game to start the season, 59-52, in a Dec. 7 Badger South Conference game.
The Silver Eagles had two double-figure scorers with Lance Nelson, who had 15, and Jacob Munz with 13, but the Cheesemakers led 23-18 at the half and held back MG in the second half.
Carson Leuzinger had 15 points for Monroe, and Max Golembieski had 14 including four shots from the arc.
Monona Grove made six 3-point baskets as Munz and Nelson each had two.
The battle at the free-throw line was even as MG hit 12-of-19 with Trey Loken hitting 5-of-6 to end up with eight points. Monroe was good on 14-of-18 free throws with Leuzinger and Meyer both making 5-of-6. The Silver Eagles play a conference home game Friday, Dec. 13, against Madison Edgewood with tipoff scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
Mount Horeb 52, MG 50 (OT)
The game seemed to be in the bag for the Monona Grove High School boys basketball team when it played its season opener Dec. 3 against visiting Mount Horeb.
The Silver Eagles came back from a seven-point halftime deficit to take a 44-35 lead. All they had to do was hang on for the final 4:22 of regulation. Yet, the Vikings went on an 11-0 run to regain the lead. While MG fought back to tie and send the game into overtime, Mount Horeb outscored the Silver Eagles 6-4 to take a 52-50 win.
Head coach Dan Zweifel said the Silver Eagles defense was not bad in the first half as it held the Vikings to 20 points. But the Silver Eagles had only 13 with Nelson hitting two field goals and Owen Croak knocking in a three.
Monona Grove fought back to take the lead with 8:06 left in regulation as Connor Bracken tallied a layup and Loken scored from the arc for a 33-29 advantage.
A basket by Will Schreiner, a three-point play by Nelson and a jumper by Loken seemed to put MG in the driver’s seat at 40-31 with six minutes to go.
“Our defense started to limit them to one shot, and they were able to get out in the fast break and get some easy baskets,” Zweifel said. “Our guys battled hard.”
But, the team’s inexperience started to show in the remainder of the game, as the Silver Eagles offense went into a coma for four minutes, and the Vikings fought back to lead 45-44 on a 3-point basket by Torrin Hannah with 1:15 left in regulation. After Carter Gilkes hit one of two free throws to increase to increase Mount Horeb’s lead to two, Nelson muscled his way toward the hoop for a layup to tie the game 46-46 and send it into overtime.
Kevin Nett and Nelson both hit two free throws to put the Silver Eagles on top with 1:31 remaining in overtime, but Gilkes’ jump shot and a Hannah layup put the Vikings back in the lead 52-50 with 5.1 seconds to go.
Monona Grove still had a chance to win or tie the game, but Nelson’s 3-point attempt fell short as time ran out.
“Our youth showed in the last three minutes of the game when we had a seven-point lead,” Zweifel said, referring to the roster’s three seniors and other underclassmen with little or no varsity basketball experience. “We took a couple of ill-advised outside shots with under three minutes to go.”
Nelson led the Silver Eagles with 14 points, Bracken had 10, and Munz and Nett each had seven.
Despite the setback, Zweifel was encouraged by the team’s performance.
“I was happy with the way we battled. You hate to lose those types of games earlier in the year, because that hurts your confidence,” he said. “It’s brand new guys, brand new situations in front of big crowds and student sections. They will get used to it, get tougher and get better.”