Monroe boys end Cavs' dominance
This time, Monroe's boys "finished."
The Redhawks picked up their biggest win of the season by defeating powerhouse Cuthbertson, 52-50, on Friday.
The Cavaliers entered the game unbeaten in the Rocky River Conference and ranked No. 1 in the 2A state poll by ncpreps.com.
Monroe (12-4, 6-3 RRC) had fourth-quarter leads in two of its three league losses this season, including a 64-63 decision to Cuthbertson (17-2, 8-1 RRC) at home on Jan. 4.
"All the games that we've lost to this point have been close, but we just haven't finished," said Monroe coach Johnny Sowell. "We had to prove to ourselves that we could finish a big game. When we called that timeout with four minutes to go I told the guys 'I'm giving you a break so you can suck it up and get it done.'"
Friday snapped Cuthbertson's 28-game winning streak within the conference dating back to the 2010-11 season.
"It was a big win for us and it gave us a lot of confidence," said Monroe junior guard Tre Shun Wynn. "The past few years we've played them the best of any team in the county, but we've been coming up short. We just had to finish this time."
Both teams had opportunities late in the game on Friday.
Cuthbertson senior guard Emmitt Afam hit 1-of-2 free throws with 39 seconds left to tie the game at 50-all.
On the ensuing possession, Wynn missed a 3-pointer from the left corner, but senior guard Dikembe White corralled the offensive rebound and connected on a 10-foot jumper for the game-winner with 10 seconds remaining.
Cuthbertson quickly raced to the other end, but Shelton Mitchell's runner in the lane was blocked out of bounds by Redhawks senior forward Quayshawn Chambers.
The Cavs had one last chance with two seconds left, but were unable to get off a shot following a timeout.
"The last minute was crazy," said Wynn, who finished with seven rebounds and six assists. "Emmitt tied it up, so we knew we had to do something on the other end. I missed a shot, but luckily Dikembe got the rebound and scored. We didn't want to start cheering and lose focus. We had to make sure we got back."
Junior guard Brandon Roddy led Monroe with a game-high 18 points. The Redhawks also got 14 points from White, while Chambers finished with 11 points and five rebounds.
Isaiah Cureton, a senior forward, paced Cuthbertson with 12 points and five rebounds. Afam added 11 points while senior forward Lucius McMillon contributed 10 points and seven rebounds.
Both teams play at home Tuesday, when Monroe faces North Stanly and Cuthbertson meets Central Academy.
Monroe boys 52, Cuthbertson 50
Monroe (12-4, 6-3 RRC)
Tre Shun Wynn 0 0-0 0, Dikemba White 6 1-1 14, Brandon Roddy 7 1-2 18, Quayshawn Chambers 4 3-5 11, Garry Parker 3 1-4 7, Dequavis Allen 1 0-0 2, Isaiah Thomas 0 0-0 0, Bernard Taylor 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 6-12 52.
Cuthbertson (17-2, 8-1 RRC)
Emmitt Afam 2 7-10 11, Shelton Mitchell 3 0-0 6, Jorden Hardrick-Givens 1 0-0 2, Isaiah Cureton 4 4-5 12, Lucius McMillon 4 2-4 10, Zach Chitwood 0 0-0 0, Justin Austin 4 0-0 9. Totals 18 13-19 50.
Monroe^9^21^12^10 - 52
Cuthbertson^14^11^15^10 - 50
3-pointers: Monroe 4 (Roddy 3, White 1); CHS 1 (Austin). Rebounds: Monroe 25 (Wynn 7, Chambers 5, Allen 5); CHS 27 (McMillon 7, Cureton 5). Assists: Monroe 10 (Wynn 7, Roddy 3); CHS 8 (Cureton 3). Steals: Monroe 4 (Roddy 2); CHS 8 (Chitwood 3, Cureton 2). Blocks: Monroe 2 (Chambers 2); CHS 2 (Cureton 1, Chitwood 1).