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Monroe Central girls stunned by Caldwell

MONROE CENTRAL'S Kynzi Bishop (13) drives to the basket Saturday afternoon against Caldwell in Division IV sectional tournament action in Woodsfield.

WOODSFIELD — Not even a courageous performance by Trista Morris could help Monroe Central overcome some poor shooting Saturday afternoon.

The second-seeded Seminoles (17-6) shot an ice-cold 26% from the floor in dropping a 49-47 decision to No. 7 Caldwell inside Monroe Central High School in a Division IV Eastern District sectional tournament co-final. The hosts were only able to tickle the twine on 18 of 69 attempts, including a frigid 2-for-19 in the third quarter when the Redskins made their move.

Monroe Central had previously beaten Caldwell this season by scores of 51-26 and 53-39.

“It was great to have her back playing. This is the first game we’ve had her back. She’s been through a lot,” a disappointed Monroe Central head coach Troy Baker said of his 5-5 junior who came off the bench to spark the Seminoles with a team-best 15 points. She had 10 in the second quarter as the hosts led 25-22 at the break.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t have much support to back her,” Baker lamented. Kalista Friday and Kynzi Bishop evenly divided 20 lightings. Friday now has 1,092 career points after her junior campaign.

Baker didn’t think trying to beat a team three times in a season came into play at all.

“No, I just think we had a bad day of shooting. If you can’t get the ball to go in for you it creates problems,” he stressed. “We did not shoot the ball very well and we haven’t had that problem all season. We may have had a couple quarters here and there, but this was the first game that we’ve done it throughout. We missed some good shots. We missed some easy shots.

“Defensively, we gave them too many dump passes that we did not defend well.”

Morris, who hadn’t played since a Dec. 18, 2020, car accident in which she sustained a broken nose, broken left collarbone and two dislocated bones in her left elbow where she wore a hefty brace. She also had some bruising on her left leg.

“The brace was a little heavy but it made me feel more protected.

“It felt really good out there trying to help my teammates win. I was trying as hard as I could just trying to help us win,” she added. “I rushed therapy a lot just trying to get back as fast as possible. I wanted to get back (on the court) as fast as I could.”

Cayton Secrest, a fiery 5-6 senior, netted 17 of her game-high 22 points after the intermission, including her team’s final six points of the tightly played contest. She knocked down 10 of 11 free throws.

“We didn’t really do a good job of stopping Secrest,” he noted. “She got the ball in the paint and then dumped it off. That’s a recipe for disaster. I can’t remember them making one shot outside the paint all game.”

The Redskins did have a three-point basket from Madison Mumaw in the second quarter.

Bishop gave Monroe Central a 42-41 lead with 2:46 left to play but an offensive rebound and putback by 6-1 Sheridan Archer and a floater by Secrest in the lane put Caldwell on top 46-42 with a minute remaining.

The Seminoles made it 46-44 but Secrest knocked down four straight charity tosses down the stretch, including a pair with 18.1 showing.

Friday meshed a three at the buzzer for the final margin.

Haylyn Hiles grabbed 11 rebounds and Bishop added seven.

While the Seminoles fine season comes to an abrupt end, the Redskins move on to meet 12th-seeded Rosecrans, which upset No. 5 Shenandoah, 44-42.

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