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Monroe boys take care of Dougherty for third place

Darrell Anthony, No. 2, and Dougherty had no place to go against Jabari McGhee and Monroe's tough defense on Tuesday.

Darrell Anthony, No. 2, and Dougherty had no place to go against Jabari McGhee and Monroe's tough defense on Tuesday.

ALBANY — Everybody knows with 6-foot-7 Rantavious Gilbert and 6-6 Jabari McGhee that nobody rebounds like Monroe.

So what did you expect Tuesday when the Tornadoes had to rebound from a tough loss to Westover that knocked them out of the No. 1 spot in the The Herald Fab 5 poll?

Rebounds galore, that’s what — including a 45-30 bounce-back win against city rival Dougherty at the Albany Civic Center, where Monroe won the third place game of the U Save It Boys Basketball Tournament with an unrelenting defense that held Dougherty (4-6) to just three points in the third quarter and only 30 points all night.

“We stress defense a lot,’’ Monroe coach Marquis Davis said.

“Nothing against Westover. They played very well and deserved to win. But we thrive on our defense. When we’re playing good defense we play well.’’

McGhee and Gilbert, who are both Herald Super 6ers, led the way, combining for 24 points and 19 rebounds on a night when no one scored much.

McGhee, who had a 26-point, 19-rebound night against Westover, came right back with another big game for Monroe, scoring seven of his 14 points in the first quarter to get the Tornadoes going. He finished with 12 rebounds, four steals and three assists despite sitting out most of the fourth quarter.

“Jabari played well the entire tournament,’’ Davis said. “He gave us maximum effort in all three games. That’s what he has to do for us to win.’’

McGhee was named to the all-tournament team, but felt better about coming back in less than 24 hours and getting a victory.

“We had to get a win to kind of redeem ourselves,’’ McGhee said. “We really needed a win (after losing to Westover). We just need to play better. We weren’t as good as we need to be.’’

Monroe (6-1) usually is better than it needs to be, especially on the defensive end of the court. Only one team has scored more than 41 points on Monroe all year, and that was in Westover’s 61-50 win in the semifinals on Monday.

The Tornadoes slammed the door on Dougherty, which scored only four points in the first quarter and was trailing 35-16 before scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter.

McGhee pointed to Gilbert, saying: “That’s the reason right there.’’

Gilbert not only blocked four shots, but he altered just about every shot in the paint and made life tough for Dougherty, which was led by Darrell Anthony’s 10-point night.

“It wasn’t me,’’ Gilbert said. “It was just good team defense.’’

It was Monroe coming back and making a statement as much as anything else.

“The good thing is we got a win,’’ Davis said. “I haven’t had an opportunity to analyze (the game against Westover) yet. I never like to lose, but we can learn something from that loss.’’

His players felt the same way.

“It was a wake up call,’’ Gilbert said. “We can learn from that game and get better.’’

FIFTH-PLACE GAMEStatesboro, which had lost to Dougherty and Terrell County, had little trouble beating Mitchell County in the fifth place game of the U Save It Boys Basketball Tournament, 59-40, Tuesday in the Albany Civic Center.

Zaquavian Smith led the Blue Devils with 16 points and was named to the all-tournament team. Diquan Isom led Mitchell with 10 points, and Daron Hodges added nie for the Eagles, who fell to 5-3 for the season.