Monarchs Start Strong, Edge Royals
By KEVIN HARRIS, Correspondent
Dec 17, 2012, 16:25
Prince George senior Shawn Broughton scored 39 points in a Central District loss to Meadowbrook on Friday (file photo).
PRINCE GEORGE – The Prince George High School boys basketball team came into Friday’s home game against Meadowbrook following consecutive losses to Huguenot and Petersburg, two perennial powerhouses in the Central Region.
The Central District bout with the Monarchs offered little relief.
Meadowbrook poured in 35 points in the first quarter and 31 in the fourth en route to a 102-90 victory that pushed Prince George’s losing skid to three games.
Meadowbrook guard Khalil Hardy opened the scoring with a 3-pointer 15 seconds into the game and the Monarchs never relinquished the lead. He finished with 33 points.
The visitors used runs of 19-7 and 11-3 to extend their advantage to 35-18 at the end of the first frame. The Monarchs utilized the press to devastating effect in the opening quarter, getting four easy layups off of inbound steals.
“The first quarter was really bad,” said Prince George coach Dave Hettinger. “We did not handle their pressure well. They really hit us with pressure right out of the gate, and they shot the ball really well.”
Hardy paced the early burst with 13 first-quarter points, including three 3-pointers. Prince George senior Shawn Broughton was the Royals’ leading scorer in the opening eight minutes with nine points.
Facing an early double-digit deficit, the home team pulled itself back into contention with a much-improved showing in the second quarter. The Royals ended the half with a 6-0 run and used Broughton’s 13 points to outscore the Monarchs 27-19 in the quarter. They trailed by nine (54-45) at halftime.
The third quarter would also belong to the Royals.
Cedric Wright scored eight points and Broughton added seven as the Royals edged the Monarchs 19-17 in the period. The deficit was seven at the onset of the fourth quarter and shrunk to two down the stretch.
However, the Monarchs answered with a 13-3 run to close out the game and clinch victory. Still, the Royals’ second-year coach liked how his team responded after the slow start.
“I thought our kids played good second, third and fourth quarters,” Hettinger said. “Even though we were down, our kids did not hang their heads. They hustled back in it and fought through some little bumps and bruises.
“But you know, you give up so much in the first quarter and it is hard to come back from that.”
Prince George has struggled this season handling the full-court press, but Hettinger thinks his squad is learning from every game.
“We want to get better each week and learn from the wins and the losses,” Hettinger said.
Broughton finished with a game-high 39 points. Prince George (2-4 overall, 1-2 district) will take a few weeks off from district play before traveling to Thomas Dale on Jan. 2.
Meadowbrook (2-2, 2-1) will also be out of action until 2013. The district’s northern-most team will play its next league game at home against Petersburg, which has dropped its last two decisions.