Blake Crookshanks scores 18 points as Monarchs hold onto win in the fourth quarter
By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
EXETER – After three years of trying the Monarchs finally have a victory over the Golden West Trailblazers, but it did not come easy. Exeter was unable to pull away until the fourth quarter and held on 54-48 at home on Monday night.
“We made things happen on defense and we were able to get the win tonight because of it,” Exeter head coach Luis Muro said.
The game had a similarity to the Monarchs’ (1-1) first game of the season against the Corcoran Panthers. They had the lead late in the game but ended up giving the win away. Exeter had the same fears in this contest when Golden West (0-1) began trading leads with them in the third quarter. But in the fourth a couple late defensive rebounds limited the Blazers scoring chances. That along with a 10-2 point run gave Exeter the win.
“They needed to learn how to win, and they finally are starting to understand what it will take,” Muro said.
The Monarchs are also without Jaykob Acosta and his 14 points a game average as he focuses on baseball after signing a letter of intent to CSU Bakersfield.
However, Blake Crookshanks seems to be a solid replacement. He led the Monarchs with 18 points including nine in the first quarter.
“Without Crookshanks we are in trouble,” Muro said. “Today I saw that we are ready to play without Acosta.”
Golden West was able to pull even with the Monarchs, 13-13, in the second quarter due to a seven point run. Yet, the Blazers left points on the court as they went 5-20 for the game.
“Got to give Exeter credit, they made free throws and we didn’t.” Golden West head coach Drew Hall said.
Exeter takes on the Farmersville Aztecs on the road tonight in the annual “Battle for the Belt” game at 6:30 p.m.
Golden West will need to put their first game nervous behind them tomorrow as they travel to take on the Tulare Union Tribe at 7:30 p.m.