MONROE, Wis.—The Turner Trojans simply couldn’t muster up its second upset in as many days.
The Trojans fell to Monroe 53-46 in the WIAA Division 2 regional final just one night after knocking off top-seeded Edgerton.
In the end, Monroe’s size advantage proved to be too much for the plucky Trojans, who led by six points early in the second half before the Cheesemakers methodically chipped into Turner’s lead before taking the game over down the stretch.
Monroe big man Cade Meyer scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half, and point guard Carson Leuzinger hit all 10 of his free throws in the second half en route to a game-best 21 points to key the Cheese.
Turner coach Ken Watkins said the team had nothing to hang its head about.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way we played,” Watkins said. “The guys played really well and did everything they could to stick with the game plan with very little preparation. Give credit to Monroe. They are a really good team. I’m just going to miss these seniors. They had to deal with so much adversity, going back to last year with the games being canceled, and then this year dealing with all the COVID stuff. The program owes an awful lot to them, and I owe an awful lot to them personally.’
Turner led 18-15 in a low-scoring first half that followed Turner’s game plan to perfection.
“The first half played out the way we wanted it for the most part,” Watkins said. “Our defense played as well as we could play, and for the most part we were really patient on offense.”
Turner led 21-15 after David Heldt nailed a long trey to begin the second half, but Monroe went on a 10-0 run over the next five-plus minutes, and the Cheesemakers never gave up the lead again.
Turner was limited down the stretch by its two leading scorers, Donavhan Cain and Heldt, both saddled with four fouls.
But they continued to do just enough to stay in the game, never trailing by more than eight points and still within four points at 41-37 after a Cain bucket with 1:08 to play. But Leuzinger took care of any Turner comeback hopes by nailing it down at the charity stripe.
“With how much time we were taking off the clock in the first half with those long possessions, it was hard to switch gears and play in catch-up mode,” Watkins said. “We got to the rim a couple of times, and Meyer had a couple really nice blocks. I thought they covered our shooters really well, too. You just don’t get a lot of clean looks against them.”
The Trojans were led by Heldt’s 14 points, with 11 of them coming in the second half. Danny Burrows added 11, while senior Aiden Diehl played a critical role off the bench, scoring 12 points.
“They were really tough inside,” Diehl said. “And it takes a lot of components to stop the other team consistently when they are so much bigger than you are. But we fought hard and were in the game the whole way. This team has had to fight through a lot, and I’ll never forget being a part of it.”
• NOTES: Turner sophomore Konner Giddley finished second in Trojan history in free throw percentage. Giddley’s 87.5 percent from the line was behind only Bob Johnson’s 90 percent performance. The Trojans hit 70.5 percent of their free throws this season, a new team record. The mark eclipsed the 1992-93 team’s record of 70 percent.
MONROE 53, TURNER 46
Turner 18 28—46
Monroe 15 38—53
TURNER: Burrows 3 2-2 11, Heldt 5 2-3 14, Giddley 0 0-2 0, Cain 4 1-1 9, Diehl 5 0-0 12. Totals: 17 5-8 46.
MONROE: Leuzinger 3 14-17 21, Golembiewski 1 0-0 2, Meyer 7 2-3 18, Matley 0 2-2 2. Seagreaves 3 3-7 10. Totals: 14 21-29 53.
3-pointers: Turner 7 (Burrows 3, Heldt 2, Diehl 2). Monroe 4 (Leuzinger, Meyer 2, Seagreaves).
• TURNER 61, EDGERTON 56: Though Turner’s season ended Saturday night in Monroe, they certainly made their mark by ending top-seeded Edgerton’s season Friday night.
The Trojans put to use their considerable talent, critical experience and true grit to defeat top-seeded Edgerton in the WIAA Division 2 regional semifinals, emerging with a 61-56 victory.
The game was Turner’s from the start, with Donavhan Cain and David Heldt each hitting 3-pointers to give the Trojans a 6-0 lead, an advantage they never relinquished for the remainder of the hard-fought contest.
Edgerton (20-5) kept chipping away at the Turner advantage until Peyton Fox scored with 1:20 to play, cutting the lead to 53-52.
The Trojans responded with the biggest play of the night, with Burrows hitting Grant Revels with a nice dish underneath the basket for a layup.
Turner was led by Heldt’s 18 points. Burrows added 13 while Giddley and Cain each had 12.
TURNER 61, EDGERTON 56
Beloit Turner 22 39—61
Edgerton 19 37—56
TURNER: Revels 1 0-1 2, Burrows 3 4-5 13, Heldt 5 4-4 18, Giddley 4 0-0 12, Cain 4 1-2 12, Hoppe 2 0-0 4. Totals: 19 9-12 61.
EDGERTON: Knauff 5 4-8 16, Jenny 3 11-14 18, Hanson 2 2-2 6, Coombs 2 0-1 5, Krause 0 2-2 2, Fox 4 1-2 9. Totals: 16 20-29 56.
3-pointers: Turner 14 (Burrows 3, Heldt 4, Giddley 4, Cain 3). Edgerton 4 (Jenny, Knauff 2, Coombs).