ALBANY -- Simply put, Monroe got Kah-Oed Tuesday night in the Albany Civic Center, where Westover's Kahler Fletcher put on a show to sweep the two-game series between the city rivals.
This was a clinic, not just in shooting, but in shooting in the clutch.
"She showed them how to shoot,'' said Westover coach Lewis Smith, who watched Fletcher hit 6 3-pointers to help lift Westover to a 54-44 win against a Monroe team that just kept coming all night. But with every Monroe run, there was Fletcher, bombing away from the cheap seats.
"That's how you stop a run,'' Smith said. "Every time she made a 3, it minimized their run.''
Fletcher finished with 21 points, making three crucial treys in the fourth quarter to hold off Monroe. The Lady Patriots led 8-6 after the first and busted the game open midway in the second quarter when Fletcher hit a pair of 3s and Super 6er DyTiesha Dunson nailed a 3 of her own to spark a 9-0 run that lifted the Lady Patriots to a 23-11 halftime lead.
Westover appeared in control and built the lead to 16 points in the third, but Monroe stormed back and finished the third with an 8-0 run that was ignited by three consecutive steals to narrow the Lady Patriots' lead to 35-29.
But Fletcher wasn't done.
She opened the fourth with a definitive 3 that said Westover wasn't about to break and Super 6er Ieshia Young followed that play with a baseline drive to lift Westover to a 40-31 lead. Then came Fletcher -- again.
She fired in another 3 to make it a 43-31 game before Herald Super 6er Sheniqua Young hit her second 3 of the night to squeeze the lead down to 43-34. Davone Anduze, who had a remarkable night running the floor for Monroe, hit a put-back to close to 43-38 and Monroe was back in business.
Cecilly Colwell, who finished with 13 points, hit a drive to give Westover breathing room at 45-38 with 3:40 left and when Monroe missed at the other end, Fletcher struck again with just under three minutes left for a 48-38 lead that all but put the game away.
"She was outstanding,'' Smith said. "She did a great job shooting the ball.''
Monroe (13-11 overall, 6-6 in Region 1-AAA) ended its regular season and will enter next week's region tournament as the No. 4 seed. The Lady Tornadoes were led by Ashley Johnson (14 points), Chelsea Cox (11) Anduze (9) and Young (9).
The win lifts Herald No. 1 Westover to 21-3 and the Lady Patriots are 10-1 in the Region 1-AAA race. They can nail down the top seed in next week's region tournament with a win against Herald No. 2 Americus-Sumter at home on Friday. If Americus-Sumter (9-2 in the region) wins, the Lady Panthers would win the top seed. They beat Westover, 45-42, on Jan. 18 in Americus. But Dunson, who leads Westover in scoring and rebounding as well as being the team leader on the floor, was out with a knee injury in that game.
"We've got to win at home,'' Smith said. "Hopefully, it will be a little different this time. We were short-handed when we lost (in Americus).''