Prep basketball: Edgewood starts strong, rolls over Monroe in opener

MONROE — A big first quarter sparked Edgewood High School’s boys basketball team to a 41-24 road win over Monroe on Friday night in a season-opening Butler County matchup.

In a game where offense was limited on both sides, the Cougars relied on solid defense and second-chance opportunities to help secure the victory.

Edgewood big man Isaiah Gambrell (11 points) was the lone player on both sides to reach double figures. The Cougars also got solid contributions from Zach Hamilton and Eric Brooks with eight points apiece, and Gabe Allen chipped in seven.

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“We talk about defending a lot, and tonight I thought we defended really well,” Edgewood coach John Thomas said. “Monroe is well-coached, they run their offense really well and make you work really hard, and I thought our kids responded well. We found a few ways on the offensive end as well. Our big man had some nice buckets, and Gabe came in knocked down a couple of big shots for us too.”

“I think we need come together as a team offensively moving forward,” Gambrell said. “We kept our spacing, and that allowed me to get some good looks inside tonight. If we keep this up and handle pressure well, we will have a good season.”

The hosts were plagued by turnovers in the opening quarter as Edgewood jumped out to an 11-2 lead through eight minutes. The Cougars closed out the final four minutes of the quarter on a 7-0 run.

The Hornets didn’t score more than eight points in any period.

“We had a big game,” Allen said. “Came out with a few jitters tonight in a hostile environment with a team of little experience and came away with a big victory. We have to come back to practice and continue getting better every day. We have a tough schedule ahead of us that we need to take game by game.”

Monroe was led by Shawn Poindexter with five points. The Hornets never led, but did show some resolve on a cold shooting night.

“I think first and foremost we came out tonight and did a good job defensively,” Monroe coach Kenny Molz said. “We were well prepared for what they had tonight. For one reason or another, that is not the same team that I see in practices and scrimmages. We do have players that played that don’t have a lot of varsity experience, and this was their first time out there tonight.

“The times that we did execute and get good shots, they just weren’t falling for us. We didn’t get many second-chance looks like what we talked about doing and conversely Edgewood got a ton of those points, especially in the second half. Gaining confidence and trusting what we do is key for us moving forward.”

Both teams return to action Tuesday, Edgewood at home against Fenwick and Monroe at Northridge.

Edgewood 11-9-9-12—41

Monroe 2-7-7-8—24

EDGEWOOD (1-0): Peyton Daley 1 0 2; Zach Hamilton 2 3 8; Aaron Frazier 1 0 2; Gabe Allen 3 1 7; Logan Loftus 1 0 3; Eric Brooks 3 2 8; Isaiah Gambrell 5 1 11. Totals: 16-7-41

MONROE (0-1): Will DeBord 1 0 2; Nick Osterman 2 0 4; Collin Deaton 2 0 4; Nick Alfrey 1 0 3; Shawn Poindexter 2 1 5; Tanner Perkins 1 1 4; Caimanne Turner 1 0 2. Totals: 10-2-24

3-pointers: M 2 (Alfrey, Perkins), E 2 (Hamilton, Loftus)

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