NORTON – The TMP-Marian Monarchs used a 10-3 fourth quarter run as they rallied to beat the Norton Bluejays in the four vs five matchup in the first round the of Mid-Continent League tournament Monday 44-41.
Coach Bill Meagher
After a pair of ties in the opening minutes of the game Norton strung together a 5-0 run that was capped off by a Drake Harding three-pointer to put Norton up 9-4.
Back-to-back field goals by Hayden Brown and Dylan Werth at the end of the first quarter cut Norton’s lead to 9-8 after one.
TMP briefly took a 12-10 lead to open the second quarter with a Jace Wentling jumper but Norton answered with a 10-2 run to take their largest lead of the game at six at 20-14.
But just like the first quarter TMP scored four straight to end the first half with Kade Harris’ steal and layup cutting Norton’s lead to 20-18 at the break.
In the third quarter Norton built the lead back to five before TMP outscored the Bluejays by four, at 11-4, to end the quarter and pull back within one as Werth put in a layup to beat the buzzer making it 34-33 Norton.
Norton added a free throw and led 35-33 to open the final frame but the Monarchs’ Schulte and Werth combined to for that 10-2 run to put TMP up 43-38 and they would hold on for the 44-41 win.
Schulte led all scorers with 23 points and Werth added 10.
With the win the Monarchs advance to the MCL tournament semifinals for the seventh straight year. They have made at least the semifinals every year they have been a member of the MCL.
TMP will play the top-seed Hoxie in Friday’s semifinals in Ellis after the Indians held off Hill City 53-51.
The other semifinal games saw Trego defeat Phillipsburg 57-48 and Ellis cruise past Oakley 50-29.
In the feather bracket consolation games Russell beat Smith Center 67-45 and Stockton beat Plainville 53-45