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The PHS varsity boys basketball team used a stifling defense to win the Monroe City Tournament championship Saturday over South Shelby.
The Panthers (6-0), held the Cardinals to 10 first-half points, and only two third-quarter points en route to a 45-29 title-game victory.
South Shelby had problems even getting shots off against Palmyra’s man-to-man defense, and when they did, the shots didn’t go in for the most part and were the Panthers were rebounding those and heading back down the court.
Palmyra’s title win was their first since 2017, breaking a string of four by the host team.
The combined championships by both the boys and girls teams was the first at Monroe City since 2013.
Palmyra held the Cardinals scoreless for the first four minutes, and prevented their first and only field goal of the first quarter until the three-minute mark as the Panthers built a 12-5 lead.
South Shelby sank two field goals early in the second quarter but didn’t get another for the final four minutes of the half as Palmyra dominated for a 21-10 lead by the break.
The Cardinals managed to get off just three shots, until finally sinking one at the 2:08 mark of the third quarter and were shut out to the fourth quarter to trail 31-12.
South Shelby finally got their offense going in the final quarter to more than double their total by the final buzzer.
Carson Hicks and Bear Bock led the scoring with 18 and 14 points respectively.
Also scoring were Drew Copenhaver, five, and Bronson Juette, Ethan Redd, Jeremiah Edwards and Landon Gottman, all with two.
The Panthers advanced to the championship game with a hard-fought 57-50 win over third-seeded Louisiana Wednesday.
Palmyra got out to a 16-5 lead thanks to strong defense as well as offense from Tyler Banta and Bock.
Banta sank two three-pointers and Bock scored six points in the early rush.
Both teams scored 25 points in the next two quarters, and Palmyra managed to hold on to the lead despite a late rush by the Bulldogs.
Bock and Banta led the team with 18 and 15 respectively.
Fellow starters Hicks (12 points), Juette (eight) and Copenhaver (one) also contributed.
Trey Smyser came off the bench to score three.
The Panthers opened the tournament with a 42-28 win over seventh-seeded Paris, Monday.
It was a defensive battle from the start, leading to a 16-15 Bulldog lead at the half.
But the Panthers managed to pump out some more offense in the second half and out-score Louisiana 27-12.
Bock and Hicks were the major contributors to the second-half offense, with Bock scoring 13 of his game-high 17 points after the break, as did Hicks with nine of his 13 points.
Also scoring were Banta, six, and Juette, Rayce Ragar and Jacob Banes each with two.
This week, the Panthers are scheduled, to host Quincy Notre Dame, Tuesday, and participate in the River Rivalry Series hosted by Keokuck and Clark County, by taking on Burlington (Iowa) at 6:30 p.m. at Keokuk.
Also participating are Holy Trinity, Central Lee, Burlington, West Burlington, Macon, Monroe City, Highland, Mount Pleasant, Fort Madison, Centralia, South Shelby, Washington and Brookfield.