The Monarchs were cruising to victory Tuesday night, with a big lead over Pratt late in the third quarter. But the night almost turned disastrous when senior Carson Jacobs tried to go up for a lob on the fastbreak. Jacobs, Thomas More Prep-Marian’s 6-foot-7 center, fell to the floor grabbing his knee. However, after being checked out, Jacobs walked back to the bench.
Jacobs, who finished with 11 points, did not play in the fourth quarter but wasn’t needed as TMP raced to a 70-34 win at Al Billinger Fieldhouse.
“We’re always concerned when somebody grabs a knee,” TMP coach Bill Meagher said. “I think it scared him a little bit. At this point it seems like everything is OK.”
As was the case for TMP on this night. The Monarchs (4-1) trailed 6-5 midway through the first quarter then went on a 13-4 run to finish the period leading 18-10. The Monarchs’ stifling man-to-man defense and full-court pressure led to 17 turnovers for the game.
“One of the things is we’ve been trying to get out of the gate fast,” Meagher said. “Our pressure was intense and paid off in the first quarter.”
The Monarchs also had a good night offensively, shooting 50% from the floor, including 44% from beyond the arc. TMP (4-1) was led by junior guard Jackson Schulte’s 17 points. Jacobs and junior guard Lucas Lang each scored 11.
“I really love how we play together,” Meagher said. “They share the ball so well.”
TMP led 40-16 halftime and 52-27 after three quarters. Sophomore guard Aiden Crow led Pratt (0-5) with eight points.
TMP travels to Oakley on Friday in the final game before the break.
PRATT GIRLS 40, TMP 33
After a close, low-scoring game through the first three quarters, the Pratt girls outscored TMP 10-3 over the first five minutes of the final period to take a 36-26 lead. The Monarchs went on a late 7-0 run to make it a one-possession game, but Greenback freshman guard Gabby Gatlin canned four straight free throws in the final 13.9 seconds to seal the win for the visitors.
“We came back,” TMP coach Rose McFarland said. “We were fighting hard.”
TMP (2-3) shot 20% from the floor and 17% from 3-point range.
“I think you just have those nights sometimes, when the ball doesn’t fall,” McFarland said. “Even if the ball doesn’t go in the basket like you want, you still have to play defense.”
The Monarchs were hurt by drives to the basket, either leading to shots in the paint or passes for open jumpers on the wings. Senior guard Danielle Staats led Pratt (3-2) with a game-high 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers. Sophomore Lexi Walker scored 10 for the Greenbacks. TMP (2-3) got nine points from junior Kyleigh Allen.
“We’re a work in progress right now,” McFarland said.