Monson shoots Calvary past Jamestown

Beau Monson ought to try injuring his shooting hand more often.

Dealing with a split-open middle finger on his right hand, Monson overcame it to drill six 3-pointers while leading Calvary Lutheran to a 53-46 win for Homecoming against Jamestown on Friday night.

“It felt great,” Monson said. “We were playing great team ball, moving the ball, making great passes. … When shots were open, we took them, and they were falling tonight.”

Monson missed his first three shots from the field while dealing with the taped-up digit, then 6-of-9 — all from 3-point range — to close out his night. He added a pair of free throws to record a game-high 20 points.

The key to the night may have been just getting used to some quick pregame first aid.

“It was split open and bleeding pretty good,” Monson said. “Luckily there was a grandparent of one of our players and he was quickly able to doctor it up.”

Early on, it didn’t appear as if anyone’s offense would end up being a key component of the game. After six minutes, it was 2-0 in favor of Calvary. After seven minutes, it was 4-0 for the Lions.

A barrage of eight points in the final 42 seconds finally got things going, as the game was tied at 6 after one period.

“We set the tone at the beginning of the game with our defense,” Calvary coach Mark Buffington said. “I figured it would be a low-scoring game. To be honest with you, I didn’t think it would be in the 50s. And with the way it started, it wasn’t going to be in the 30s.”

Jamestown, which had a decided height advantage, ironically got its only points of the quarter on 3s by Trevor Barbour and Andy Thompson. Eagles coach Brandon Bartlett said his team was out of sync in the early going.

“At times, teams can try to run a play too much and not just play basketball,” he said. “When you forget where the basket is and you try to earn points by running an offense, it’s not too good.”

Jamestown finally got in a groove at the start of the second quarter, putting together a 9-0 run on a three-point play by Alden Rohrbach and layups from Rohrbach, Wyatt Hunziker and Barbour.

But Calvary closed out the quarter with a 13-2 run to take the lead right back, with the first six points coming on a pair of 3s by Monson.

“I knew we had to (hit 3s) to beat these guys,” Buffington said. “They’re big, they’re long. We had to shoot well to beat them, and we did.”

The Lions effectively clinched the win in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the third quarter, as they started the period a perfect 5-of-5 from the field. Hance Sommerer started it with a layup, Cole Duenckel nailed a 3, Trevor Dusheke made a three and a jumper, and Sommerer hit a jumper in the paint to give Calvary its biggest lead of the night at 31-20.

Jamestown eventually got the lead down to 33-29 on a layup by Barbour, but Monson sank a long 3 at the buzzer to push the lead back to seven heading into the fourth.

Jamestown never got closer than five in the final period. Calvary made just three field goals in the quarter — a pair of 3s by Monson and a 3 by Duenckel — but connected on 8-of-9 free throws in the final 1:18 to salt away the victory.

“That was big,” Buffington said. “We knew they were going to have to start fouling eventually and it might come down to a free-throw shooting contest.”

Bartlett said he knew his team would be facing a tough task trying to beat a Calvary squad playing its first Homecoming game in its new gym. The Eagles were also fighting some tired legs after playing Thursday night.

“We’ve been playing three games a week every week in January, some of them back-to-back, and this was a back-to-back night for us,” Bartlett said. “… It’s no excuse, and taking nothing away from Calvary Lutheran, but we’re having some fatigue issues. Calvary Lutheran came out with a certain level of intensity and we had a tough time matching it.”

Dusheke joined Monson in double figures for Calvary (6-8), as he dropped in 17 points. Monson, Dusheke and Sommerer tied for the team lead with six rebounds apiece as the Lions outrebounded the Eagles 30-24.

“That’s probably our biggest win in the last two years,” Buffington said. “That’s against a good, solid team that’s well-coached and a lot bigger than us.”

Rohrbach tossed in 15 points to pace Jamestown (10-5) and Barbour added 14.

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