The Monticello Trojans hosted Wayne County on Tuesday, December 4. The

game was the season opener for the Cardinals, who had their game with

Lincoln County rescheduled because the Patriots were still competing in the

state football playoffs. The Trojans came into the contest after suffering a

tough loss at home the previous Friday night to Clinton County.

Last Tuesday's game marked the 96th meeting between the two schools.

Wayne County leads the series 72-24. Wayne County won the last game between

the two schools, 73-43, on January 12, 2007.

Both teams started out with the jitters on Tuesday night, but Wayne

County used a good first half defensive effort and better 3-point shooting

to post a 73-47 win.

"Our kids really played hard," said Wayne County Coach Rodney Woods.

"Monticello had a really good game plan and took away some of the things we

like to do."

Monticello Coach Trevis Upchurch was pleased with the intensity and

effort from his team.

"We played with great intensity and heart on Tuesday...I am very proud

of our effort," said Upchurch.

Wayne County led 17-12 at the end of the first quarter and had pushed

that advantage to 9, 29-20, by intermission.

The Cards scored nearly as many points in the third quarter as they did

in the entire first half, as they pushed the lead to 53-32.

"We gave up too many open looks in the third quarter, and Wayne shot the

ball very well," said Upchurch. "Anytime you shoot the ball as well as they

did, then you are going to put yourself in a position to win games."

The shots kept falling in the final quarter, as Wayne County scored 20

points.

"I thought our defense was very good, especially in the first half,"

said Woods. "We were too emotional to start the game, but we settled down in

the second half and shot the ball much better."

For the game, the Cardinals shot 42 percent from the field, hitting 26

of 61. They were 9 of 26 on 3-pointers for 34 percent. Wayne County hit 12

of 18 from the free throw line for 66 percent.

The Trojans hit 21 of 51 from the field for 41 percent. They hit only

one of 12 from beyond the arc and were 4 of 11 from the charity stripe.

"I was pleased with our performance, we rebounded well and took fairly

good care of the ball," said Upchurch. "However we are still not where we

want to be as far as turnovers. We had 17 for the game."

"We shot very poorly from the free throw line as well. This is mental,

we have to start making our free throws," Upchurch added.

Wayne County was led offensively by senior point guard Dustin Wells with

20 points. Also in double figures for Wayne County was freshman forward

Gavin Dunagan with 16 points and freshman guard Austin Shearer with 15

points. Shearer also had 5 assists for the Cards.

Senior forward Jacob Gregory scored 13 points. Gregory had 9 rebounds

to lead the Cards' on the board and with the performance on Tuesday night

surpassed the 600 mark in career rebounds. He also had 7 steals and 3

blocked shots in the game.

The Trojans were led by sophomore forward Derrick Peyton with 16 points.

Also in double figures for Monticello was sophomore forward Aaron Dishman

who scored 10 points.

The Trojans won the battle on the boards, grabbing 40 rebounds in the

game. Wayne County finished with 35 rebounds.

"It was good to win the opener and more important to start the district

off at 1-0," said Woods.

Next up for Wayne County was a Friday night game at home against Mercer

County. See a story in this edition for game details.

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