Howell scores 31, Monroe Central Pushes Past Brooke Bruins | News, Sports, Jobs

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Monroe Central’s Tucker Howell soars in for a score in the second half of the Seminole’s game Saturday against Brooke in the Buckeye 8 Challenge from inside Harrison Central High School. Howell scored 31 points in a Monroe win.

CADIZ – The Monroe Central Seminoles opened competition at Saturday’s Buckeye 8 Challenge with a win over the Brooke Bruins inside the confines of Harrison Central High School.

The ‘Noles used 31 points from game MVP Tucker Howell to propel them to a 67-51 win, extending a six-point halftime lead to a commanding double-digit victory.

Howell converted 13 field goals, all 2-pointers, as the senior was a battering ram down the lane, going over and through defenders at the rim all game. He also grabbed eight rebounds and dished four assists.

“Tucker does a little bit of everything for us,” Monroe Central head coach Mason Lang said. “He’s a great leader with his play on the floor, he really holds us down offensively and he’s not a selfish player, he doesn’t have to score. On Tuesday night he finished with nine points but he dished out eight assists, he’s just that kind of player.

“He’ll get rebounds, pass the ball, get his teammates involved, anchors the defense, talks. Just a great player all-around.”

Brooke came out firing, Garrett Milam hitting a pair of 3-pointers while Leyton Toepfer also nailed a long-ball for the 3-centric Bruins, who were tied 15-15 after the first quarter.

Milam ended with three 3-pointers and Toepfer ended with four, and Brooke finished Saturday shooting from deep at a 38% clip, but that number averages out what was a hot-shooting first half and a chillier second half.

“Early in the game, [Brooke was] knocking down a ton of shots, hats off to them for taking it to us, they were crashing the boards, getting a lot of rebounds,” Lang said. “I think the turning point was when we started rebounding defensively. They weren’t getting second-chance shots and maybe a little bit of luck fell on our side and they started missing some.”

Monroe Central out-rebounded Brooke 26-20 in total, turning the tide as the game went on.

A 3-pointer by the Seminole’s Chance Allen off a drive-and-kick assist by Howell tied the game 15-15 with 30 seconds to play in the first.

A tie after one turned into a 35-29 Monroe Central lead going into the locker rooms after a 10-0 Monroe Central culminated in a 33-24 lead with 2:00 to play in the second quarter. Howell and Allen did most of the damage over that span, Howell scoring 10 points in the period while Allen scored six.

The momentum carried over into the third quarter, as Monroe Central outscored Brooke 23-7, the Seminoles cleaning up their play on offense and not allowing the Bruins to get second chances while shooting 2-14 from the field in the third.

“Every game we try to focus on limiting turnovers, which at the end of the second quarter wasn’t happening for us,” Lang said. “We focus on controlling the boards and playing with a pace that will be hard to guard, a pace which will pay dividends for us in the second half of games.”

Toepfer finished with a team-high 19 for Brooke, while Nathaniel Kimball joined him in double figures with 11, adding six rebounds.

Howell’s 31 was followed by 15 for Allen, who equaled Howell’s rebounding total with eight.

Brooke hosts Wheeling Park on Dec. 19, while Monroe Central travels to Magnolia the same day.

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