William Monroe Holds Off Western

William Monroe holds off Western

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Alex Cave’s game has always had a little old school style. But the William Monroe senior’s approach to defense is particularly fundamental.

“I just focus on their bellybutton and I don’t look where their feet are going because that’ll get me off guard,” Cave said. “I just stay low and move my feet.”

William Monroe's Brianna Allen tries to power past Western Albemarle's Bridget Shaffrey during the Dragons' narrow victory over the Warriors.

In the closing minutes of Monroe’s 40-36 victory over Western Albemarle, she shadowed Western’s Mady Baker perfectly as the Western senior tried desperately to release a 3-point attempt that may have tied the game at 39-39. Cave wouldn’t allow it though.

“She was tagged on Baker the whole game — we wanted to force other people to make shots,” said Dragons coach Phil Lamb.

Western got another chance with just over two seconds to play but couldn’t inbound the ball because and got tagged a five-second call that all but sealed it for Monroe. The loss prolongs a losing streak for the Warriors that has now stretched to eight games, a slide Western can’t seem to put a stop to.

“I’m still not sure they truly get how competitive you have to be internally to get out of the funk we’re in,” said Western coach Kris Wright. “And we’re in an eight-game losing streak — that’s a funk.”

Both teams missed their share of free throws, but Western struggled particularly bad at the line, going 2 for 9 in the fourth quarter.

Monroe built a slight advantage in the third quarter behind a solid effort from Tiffany Snead in the post. Snead finished with 14 on the night to lead the Dragons.

“It’s nice to have a post you can feed the ball to — her or Alexa Smith,” Cave said. “If they’re not open they’ll kick the ball back out so it’s nice to have help down there.”

Cave finished with 11, including several clutch fourth quarter buckets. Brianna Allen had seven for the Dragons.

Baker led all scorers with 15 points. Sydney Fewell had eight first half points for the Warriors.

Monroe managed to hold Western's Bridget Shaffrey to six points in the post, but Shaffrey suffered from foul trouble during much of the game.

Monroe takes on Spotswood in the second round of the Daily Progress Holiday Basketball Classic Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Western Albemarle while the Warriors take on Jefferson District rival Monticello at 3 p.m. also in Crozet.

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