Up to that point, the No. 15 Eagles had fought off several Wakefield spurts to take some semblance of control down the stretch and appeared on track to escape with victory. But where others called for caution, Monroe saw opportunity.
The junior forward barreled downcourt, crossed over one Warriors defender and spun around another before laying up a shot that left Edison fans suddenly clamoring for more. The frenetic style of Monroe’s bucket served as a fitting seal on the Eagles’ 72-59 win against Wakefield in a back-and-forth affair in Alexandria.
“I honestly did not hear everybody telling me to slow down; I guess I was so tuned into the action,” said Monroe, who finished with 11 points. “I saw an opening and that the defender was backing up a little, so I just took off and took advantage.”
Neither team backed off the tempo for most of the contest. Edison rode its handful of athletic players to a slim lead at the outset, sparked by crafty drives from senior guard Chief Amoah (12 points).
But the Warriors (8-3) responded with aggressive play, battling on the offensive boards as Dominique Tham scored six points to spark a 8-0 second-quarter run and tie the game at 23.
Wakefield’s momentum was halted just before halftime, when a player drew a technical for taunting, resulting in a four-point swing that put the Eagles (11-1) up by five.
Drew Lakey’s three-pointer to start the third period further ignited the Eagles, who pushed their lead to as many as eight points. But Tham again got hot in the post and Marqua Walton knocked down two three-pointers to cut the deficit to three in the fourth period.
With Walton fresh off a game-winning three in the Warriors’ last game, Monroe was well aware of the Wakefield guard’s ability to get hot from the perimeter.
“We were going back and forth with them, so I took it upon myself to stick him and make sure he didn’t get a lot of open looks,” Monroe said. “Defensively, we made some big stops down the stretch.”
The Warriors hurt their cause for a rally by going 5 for 18 from the foul line and missing their last six attempts, sealing Edison’s 11th straight win.