BRIGHTON -- So far this season Ken Nevin has been impressed with his team's offensive prowess. But it was the other end of the court Monday evening that caught the Monarch boys basketball coach's eye.
The Coyotes opened the Thunderhawks Hoops Fest with a convincing 51-38 win over Frederick behind one of the team's best defensive efforts of the season. Monarch had the Warriors on their heels from the opening whistle, holding them to 18 points in the opening three periods.
The effort goes down as Monarch strongest of the season, but to Nevin the game only scratches the potential of this team.
"We're still not where we want to be," Nevin said. "But we're a young team. At the end of the game, we had three sophomores on the floor."
Monarch's (4-1) stinginess keeps the team in the winners side of the brackets and pits it against Brighton (3-6) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. If the Coyotes play anywhere close to how they did out of halftime in the next round, the Bulldogs will have their hands full.
Monarch had the Warriors (3-2) reeling in the third period holding the team to its first scoreless quarter of the season. From what Alex Krason saw on the court, the senior knew the Coyotes were building up a head of steam on defense. But one of Monarch's two double-digit scorers was even taken back by the damage his team did to start the second half.
"We knew we had the opportunity to make plays on defense coming into the game," said Krason, who finished with a team-high 13 points. "We just stuck with it and made plays."
The closest Frederick came to putting points on the board in the third came when Ryan Miller toed the line for a two free-throw attempts. But the Warriors shook off their sluggish period to make a game of it in the fourth.
While the team got no closer to Monarch than 8 points in the period, Frederick had the Coyotes panting. The Warriors went on a 20-point tear in the quarter, fueled by big showings by Jayden McGraw and Lucas Adams. McGraw scored all of his points in the period to finish the evening with eight. And Adams came up with the final six of his game-high 14.
"It was too little, too late," Adams said. "We're a great team when we have 12 guys that come out and give 100 percent. That just wasn't the case tonight."
Larry Frank did not discount the effect his team's win Friday night over Silver Creek might have had.
"I think we might have had a little bit of hangover coming out of that game," the Frederick coach said. "We just didn't have any energy to start and unfortunately it took us three quarters to figure it out."
Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.
Monarch 51, Frederick 38
At Prairie View HS
Adams 5 3-4 14, McGraw 4 0-0 8, Weis 1 0-0 2, Therrien 1 0-0 3, Martinez 1 0-0 2, Miller 4 1-7. Totals 16 4-11 38..
Weaver 2 1-2 5, Frederick 5 0-0 12, Young 2 0-0 5, Stewart 1 0-2 2, Kirkman 2 0-0 4, Krason 6 0-1 13, Lawson 1 0-0 2, Beauchamp 0 6-8, Mommaerts 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 7-13 51.
Score by quarters:
Frederick 9 9 0 20 -- 38
Monarch 15 11 11 14 -- 51
3-point field goals -- Frederick (2): Adams, Therrien; Monarch (3): Fredrick, Young, Krason. Total fouls -- Frederick 16, Monarch 16. Fouled out -- none. Technical fouls -- Frederick bench.