ALBANY -- It might not happen again.
Marquis Davis doesn't want it to happen again -- but it might.
"If our starters come out slow like that again, then it will be another night for the reserves,'' said Davis after he watched his backups play most of the game on Saturday night in a 48-39 win against Mt. Zion (0-6) in the opening day of the U-Save-It Basketball Classic.
Monroe is still unbeaten at 6-0 and still the No. 1 team in The Herald's Top 5 Poll after the win which belonged to a bunch of guys who don't see much playing time.
Nicholas Plummer, a backup who hadn't scored this season, led the Tornadoes with 11 points and Ted Hosley, the only starter on the floor in the second half, scored nine points and kept Monroe and the game under control.
"I thought Ted Hosley showed a lot of leadership,'' Davis said. "He played with four guys he has probably never played with before and made it happen.''
Davis didn't like what he saw from the outset, and Monroe led only 10-9 at the end of the first quarter. He started substituting and just kept going to his bench, Plummer, Hosely, Daniel House, Devine Noel and Kevin Banks saw most of the action in the second half, and that group built a 21-18 halftime lead into a 13-point cushion at one point.
"I was very disappointed in the starters,'' said Davis, who hoped his kids got the message. "If (they didn't), there will be another night when we go to the reserves. We haven't played in a whole week, but that's no excuse.''
Hosley ran the team on the floor, and Monroe never trailed.
"I knew I had to play hard or I wouldn't be in the game,'' said Hosley, a senior who got the message loud and clear. "We didn't come out with any intensity. It was a lack of intensity at the beginning of the game. We didn't get the ball inside
"We have one of the most dominant posts in the state, and we didn't get the ball inside.''
Monroe has two more games in the U-Save-It -- against North Clayton at 8:30 p.m. on Monday and against Statesboro at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
The main thing for Monroe is Davis made his point to his team -- and Monroe stayed unbeaten with a scrappy bunch of reserves.
"The job had to be done by somebody,'' Hosley said. "He put the young guys in and they really stepped up and got it done.''