Monroe leads Cougars past RCS

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Georgetown signee scores 26; Eagles’ McCain scores 18 in loss


Sports Editor

Reserve Christian Coach Timmy Byrd couldn’t put it any simpler.

“We had no answer for Greg Monroe. He’s the number one rated player for a reason.”

And as Monroe slammed down his 25th and 26th points of the night with 3:55 remaining in the third quarter on Tuesday night, the Helen Cox fans roared their approval. It was a curtain call for Monroe, who then went to the bench amid cheers as the Cougars wrapped up a 79-46 win at home over the Eagles.

“We let Greg take us out of what we do best,” Byrd said. “You’ve got to credit Greg and also some other really good players that they have.”

Monroe, a 6’10 Georgetown signee considered widely to be the nation’s top prospect, was a force from the opening tip. Offensively, he finished around the basket time and time again by either creating his own shot or tapping in the miss of a teammate. Defensively, the size of Monroe and the other Cox defenders shut down the lane, forcing Reserve Christian (12-2) to rely on jumpers from the erimeter.

Eddrin McCain led the Eagles with 18 points. Chris Roussel added 11 and Kyle McClue scored 8.

Taj Givens scored 18 for Helen Cox. (3-0)

The Eagles never recovered from a 14-0 Cougar run that led to a 22-4 Helen Cox lead after a quarter. Reserve Christian struggled to get in sync offensively, due in large part to an aggressive, turnover-inducing Cougar defense.

Reserve Christian did not score a point until McClue hit two of three foul shots with 3:14 left in the first quarter, after being fouled while taking a three-pointer.

With Helen Cox leading 32-13, a McCain three-pointer sparked a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 12. Cox scored right before halftime to extend the lead to 34-20 at the half.

But the Eagles would get no closer. An 11-3 run by Helen Cox at the start of the third quarter made it 45-23, and the Cougars coasted from there.

The Eagles’ Matt Cali had the task of defending Monroe for much of the night. He said that all the Eagles could hope to do was make him work for his points, and not play in awe of him.

“You have to try to make him earn everything he gets,” Cali said. “You have to try to play him like you would play anyone else.”

The Eagles did get the better of Monroe at least once though. Eddrin McCain rose up and blocked Monroe on a late first quarter dunk attempt, which drew a loud crowd reaction.

“I think that settled our guys down a bit,” said Byrd. “We were able to start scoring a little bit, but that was really about it.”