With leading scorer Lane Pence out with an ankle injury, Scotland County Coach Lance Campbell needed someone to step up Thursday night in Keosauqua, IA. Senior Brett Monroe answered the bell. The senior scored a career-high 23 points including three straight three-pointers late in the fourth quarter, to try to rally the Tigers.
But with the lead trimmed to just four, SCR-I went cold from the free throw line, allowing Van Buren to hold on for the 66-58 win.
The Tigers opened strong as Jared Dunn, Will Fromm and Monroe all connected from behind the arc in the opening minutes to push Scotland County out to the lead. The Warriors answered with a 14-2 run to close the first period with a 24-14 lead.
The deficit remained in double digits the entire second period as SCR-I struggled to get shots to fall. SCR-I struggled to get any shots to fall, managing just three field goals, two of which were fast break layups by Jace Morrow and Monroe. That allowed Van Buren to head to the locker room on top 37-25.
The Tigers put together a rally to start the third quarter, Fromm sank a three-pointer before the Tigers got scores from Matthew Woods and Monroe off of offensive rebounds, trimming the lead to 36-32 with 4:47 on the clock. But SCR-I cooled off, with just two more field goals in the quarter, buckets by Dunn and Monroe, allowing Van Buren to stretch the lead back out to 46-36.
Woods continued to work the offensive glass, scoring on a rebound to start the fourth period. That’s when Monroe went to work. The senior scored 10 straight points for the Tigers, including a trio of three-pointers. Dunn scored on a backdoor cut to make the score 55-50.
The momentum was stolen away from SCR-I when Coach Campbell was assessed a very questionable technical foul call with 2:44 left in the game.
The Tigers maintained the pressure, forcing several turnovers on the Warriors. Unfortunately SCR-I could not convert on the offensive end, and left several points on the floor with missed free throws. Monroe sank one final three-pointer with 15.1 ticks on the clock to cut the lead to 61-57, but Van Buren put the game away at the free throw line to post the 66-58 win.
Monroe led all scorers with 23 points. Fromm finished with 14 and Woods added eight as Scotland County fell to 7-4 on the year.