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Monroe boys wrap up regular-season Region 1-AAAA title, No. 1 tourney seed

Monroe’s Darrien Anderson, left, scored a game-high 15 points in Saturday’s region-title clinching win. (Herald file photo)

Monroe’s Darrien Anderson, left, scored a game-high 15 points in Saturday’s region-title clinching win. (Herald file photo)

ALBANY — Sure, Monroe has talked about it.

They’ve discussed how it would feel to be the first team in Southwest Georgia — boys or girls — since The Herald’s Fab 5 Poll was introduced five years ago to hold the No. 1 ranking wire-to-wire.

But it’s not their most immediate goal.

No, that was accomplished Saturday night.

Monroe (19-2, 12-0) demolished usually-pesky region foe Crisp County, 70-38, at home late Saturday for their eighth straight win. More importantly, the victory not only secured the regular-season Region 1-AAAA title but clinched home-court advantage for the upcoming region tournament.

“It was big,” Monroe coach Marquis Davis said Sunday. “It’s a goal we’ve been talking about all year, to end up No. 1 in the regular season. It not only helps us, but it helps our girls, too.”

The Lady Tornadoes, The Herald’s No. 2-ranked team, also won Saturday, 71-34, against Crisp and will join the boys team in the comfy confines of Monroe’s gym.

That’s right, the tournament will not be played at the Civic Center like has in recent seasons — which all but nullifies a team’s home-court advantage — but Monroe’s gym.

“It’s been awhile since we’ve been able to host it there, but from what I’m hearing, our principal is making sure we get to host it at our actual gym,” Davis said. “That’s huge for us and our girls.”

It’s even bigger considering that — because of the new state tournament format — the winner of the region tournament now is guaranteed to host the first three games in state at home, rather than just two, which is how it’s been in the past.

“The side of the region we’re matched up against in those early rounds — teams like Eagles Landing, North Claytoon and Jonesboro — are tough, so to know (we have our destiny) in our hands is key for us,” Davis said.

Monroe — which got a game-high 15 points from Darrien Anderson, 14 points and four blocks from Herald Super 6er Jabari McGhee and 13 points from Keith Bowens in the win Saturday — has just three regular-season games left (Terrell County, Albany and Worth County), and Davis said his guys have no intention of letting up.

“It’s important to finish strong so we have momentum, but it’s also important to my kids we stay on top (of the Fab 5 Poll),” he said. “From a coaching standpoint, it’s good to be on top, and my kids love it, too. But we also understand that when you’re on top, everyone’s chasing you. So we know we’re going to get everyone’s best game.”

Comments

AuntieDee 1 year, 8 months ago

Well Done Monroe. I am really PROUD of all of our guys.

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AuntieDee 1 year, 8 months ago

Congratulations Jabari McGhee I hear you have reached over 1000 points in your High School Career. Wonder why we haven't read about in the paper?

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hotdog 1 year, 8 months ago

Ok...now lets see what you do from here....this is where coaching comes and guard play comes to the forefrunt.....good luck

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mrcvsjr 1 year, 8 months ago

I agree. This is when the nadas normally begin their yearly choke, and then the monroe alumni will say the referees cheated and wait till next year. Same ol same ol!!!!

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mrcvsjr 1 year, 8 months ago

Terrible reporting. Albany Herald get your facts straight. The Region tourney semi and finals has been hosted at Westover the last two years and at Peach County the year before that because Westover and Monroe had to forfeit games for over scheduling. Thanks again Seabrooks for that administrator oversight. 1,500 Westover and Monroe fans had to travel to Fort Valley to watch that Region Finals that year.

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rorschach 1 year, 8 months ago

What does Seabrooks have to do with with Monroe and Westover forfeiting games for overscheduling? Sounds like the coaches scheduled too many games to me.

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dmyers80 1 year, 8 months ago

Actually the AD does the scheduling of all athletic events.

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rorschach 1 year, 8 months ago

The County AD doesn't schedule the games. The region schedule is set at the region coaches meeting. All non region games are scheduled by the team coach. The county AD takes the submitted schedule and coordinates with the officials association and other paid entities including school resource officers that will work the games. Coaches are solely responsible for the no. of games they schedule.

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mrcvsjr 1 year, 8 months ago

Is it me, but why does that picture look like they were playing Randolph-Clay.....

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hotdog 1 year, 8 months ago

because it is the R-C game....probably only photo they had of the high scorer

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hotdog 1 year, 8 months ago

If they do not win the tourney.....they will not get out of first round....Region 4 is much tougher than region 1...if there is an upset or 2 in region 4 tourney....they are in trouble...I may be wrong...but I doubt it

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mrcvsjr 1 year, 8 months ago

Region 4 is absolutely loaded. Adding the extra classification has definitely not helped Region 1 at all this year.

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The_Dude 1 year, 8 months ago

Yes! Just what I wanted to do - have to watch the region tournament in that dump of a gym in East Albany. Only Dougherty's gym would have been a worse locale. We can't do any better than this?

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dmyers80 1 year, 8 months ago

I agree... I went to high school in Americus when there were 2 high schools and (we were AA at the time), and our gym was twice the size of any gym in Albany, I would think that a city with the tradition of basketball like Albany would have better facilities by now... Especially when they charge such high admission for everything!!!

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AuntieDee 1 year, 8 months ago

Where are you from Dude? Monroe is located on the southside of town, right next to the school SOUTHSIDE. Duh! And you know, you dont have to come to the dump to watch the game.

Why are people so critical of some high school kids playing basketball?

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NUMBER1FAN 1 year, 8 months ago

East Albany???? Do u know where Monroe is located? Maybe you are thinking about Dougherty......but I agree wrong gym, to many people, money hungry it will be wall to wall people. A lot of money will be lost because people will rather stay home then be over crowded and hot for $10.00. We need to do better!

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rorschach 1 year, 8 months ago

I believe the nadas would gladly give up a few dollars for home court advantage. It might be cramped, hot and sweaty, but it's home for Monroe. That's what they played the regular season for.

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AuntieDee 1 year, 8 months ago

Home court advantage is the key here, not the money. I live with a Monroe basketball player every day. He says he wants to play the game on his own court where he feels most comfortable. Do I like Monroe's gym...No. But I do want the guys to feel comfortable if it helps them to win.

If you want something done about Monroe's Gym, go to the board meeting Wendesday at 12:30 at Turner Elementary School. State your case there.

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dmyers80 1 year, 8 months ago

the GHSA needs to step in, because at some point it becomes a safety hazard pack that small gym that full. GHSA should tell them until you can expand your gym, all tournaments will be played at the civic center!!! I bet you'll see some progress then because they will have to fork over some of that high admissions... Oh and just a side note, I went to the Christmas tourney at Albany High... Why did it cost more to get into the game at albany high than it did at the Civic Center??

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AuntieDee 1 year, 8 months ago

In your blog who is the "They" that you are referring to. And speaking of High Admissions...you never paid over $6 to get in a game at Monroe unless you paid for more than one person.

FYI: GHSA cannot sanction where you play a game during the regular season.

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MCHS13 1 year, 8 months ago

Monroe's gym is no different than any other gym we have stands,goals,and a court. If you feel like its going to be packed get there early so you will have a seat.All we need is our fans to support us, nonbelievers and downers can stay at home and hear about Monroe Comprehensive High School winning the Region Championship on the news.

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229sportsfanatic 1 year, 8 months ago

On the high school level, athletic directors do not schedule games. Coaches are responsible for scheduling their own games. Now on the collegiate level, this is handled differently. So repeat after me: Coach Seabrooks does not do schedules for games, the high school coaches do.

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mrcvsjr 1 year, 8 months ago

After the coaches schedule the games, they are submitted to the Dougherty County Athletic Director for final approval. It is a system of checks & balances. Checks are being written, but their is no balancing

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rorschach 1 year, 8 months ago

The County AD dors not approve or disapprove the schedule. His job is to look at the submitted schedule and coordinate with the officials association and other paid entities including school resource officers that will work the games. Coaches are solely responsible for the no. of games they schedule.

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mrcvsjr 1 year, 8 months ago

I must admit that the Monroe gym is small and cramped, but that's what you play the regular season for, to "SECURE HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE", an so if fans have a problem, tell your coach to get his team to play better and your school will host. No need to worry Americus alumnus you won't even have to worry about coming to the Monroe gym, because you probably won't have a team to make it that far in the region tourney.

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dmyers80 1 year, 8 months ago

Oh.. I go to watch good games being played regardless of who is playing. I was trying to stay neutral but since you brought it up, Monroe is like the fastest kid in a class of all fat kids... They can beat everyone here but when they get in the state tournament its CHOKE TIME!!! That being said I enjoy watching them!!

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AuntieDee 1 year, 8 months ago

 Monroe's team is capable of going to the state.  It'll come down to coaching.
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AuntieDee 1 year, 8 months ago

I've being going to Monroe’s gym for every home game for four years. There has been no safety hazard reported there. The staff has never sold tickets above their capacity during this time.
All of the High school gyms have the same size court. All of the courts meet regulation standards. The number of seats depends on the year the schools were built and the amount of money the School system was willing to sacrifice. As you can see Westover, the newest high school, has the most modern gym. The school system renovated Monroe in recent years but did not find it necessary to renovate the gym. I don't think we should penalize the kids on the basketball team for this. The physical building has nothing to do with the game. Every school has the opportunity to earn home court advantage during the tournament by winning the region. MONROE has earned that right and damn well deserves to play on their home court. They are 12-0 in the region.
If you don’t like the cramped Monroe gym then don’t come to the games. It’s just that simple. No one makes you come to the game. Now as far as scheduling…it is the local high school coach’s job to schedule games. However, if the local AD does his job and check behind the coaches it would be much better. Then, if the County AD checked behind the Local AD that would be superfantastic! It’s called PLANNING AND ORGANIZATION. DCSS is lacking in that area of administration. Okay, now to the teams…C’mon folks. You win some you lose some. Monroe has a winning season (12-0) Westover has a mediocre season (10-2). On any given day a team can win or lose. Just come out and support the kids and leave your adult negativity out of it.

It’s all about the kids!
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dmyers80 1 year, 8 months ago

I believe that Monroe has a great team also... But to say it will come down to coaching... Coaches don't miss shots, commit fouls, or turnovers. Well DUH!!! everyone knows that all of the courts are the same size, but if you have been going to every home game for four years and you don't think that it is cramped and too small, then you must be at the concession stand the whole game!! We get it you are proud of your school, but that's no reason to take it personal because someone say's the gym is small and crowded. a AAAA school should have a gym capable of seating more people. Now Im not saying that its the school's or the kids fault, but something should be done. I agree that if you win the regular season title you should be able to host the region tourney at your gym, but if your gym is too small then adjustments should be made!

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hotdog 1 year, 8 months ago

No the do not, but they do plan strategy and make adjustments to the strategy of the other team they play....usually after the first or second round IT DOES COME DOWN TO COACHING.....most teams after that point are fairly or evenly matched....it comes down to strategy( coaching) execution(players) and adjustments(coaching) and execution of the adjustments(players).... Monroe won the region and deserves the right to host....yes the gym is a fossil but that is an issue for the DCSS....

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AuntieDee 1 year, 8 months ago

Duh...if you checked my post I said that personally I don't like Monroe's gym. HOWEVER, I don't go the gym for looks I go to support the kids. If I think its a game where there will be a sell-out crowd I get there early to get a seat. I recall that even Westover sold out and people were turned away.

This is not the forum to gripe about the gym. Take it to the board meeting.

Monroe has HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE and whether you like it or not the REGION TOUNAMENT WILL BE HELD AT MONROE! No adjustments will be made on Monroe's behalf. If Monroe makes an adjustment to pkease the masses then there is no homecourt advantage, that you agreed they should have, DUH!

Now, Either you come and get there early to get a seat or you get a snippit of the game on the WALB, WFXL or the Albany Herald on or off line. It's your Prerogative!

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dmyers80 1 year, 8 months ago

OK... If you read my earlier post I said that all of the Albany schools have small gyms.. Why are you taking this so personal??? Did you help design the gym?? Or do you have someone playing?

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AuntieDee 1 year, 8 months ago

No smart a--. I didn't design the gym but since you are so concerned about why don't you show up at the meeting tomorrow.

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AuntieDee 1 year, 8 months ago

Like I've said in many post over the past 4 years I do have someone playing. But I would defend Dougherty as well because I have someone who plays there. But no one talks about Dougherty in this blog. The criticism is ALWAYS Monroe. I started this post congratulating the team. Then the sour grapes joined in to talk about how Monroe would fall. Then someone else had to report that Monroe had to forfeit games for over scheduling. Then the crap about the gym. I mean c'mon ,,,can't we just congratulate the kids for a winning season and leave the negativity out of it?

If any of you have GENUINE concerns about Monroe's gym there is a DCSS Board Meeting tomorrow at 12:30. They will voting on whether or not Monroe will get a new gym. Be there to state your concerns. State them just like you state them in this blog...HARD!

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dmyers80 1 year, 8 months ago

Since when is it negative to say that a small gym is small?? And the other was just a response to a shot that mjr took at me... This is one of the biggest problems with our society today, we tend to think everyone who doesn't agree with us has something against us. And you say you would DEFEND them... Who attacked them and exactly how do you defend them on this anyway ... I simply said their gym was small and cramped... If that's an attack you must be very sensitive, I also said that it has nothing to do with the players, so if anything you should consider it an attack on the board... But apparently all you read was MONROE and the fight was on!

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The_Dude 1 year, 8 months ago

This guy/girl gets it. Obviously I don't live in that area or anywhere near it or else I would know the geographics. Regardless, it's one of the worst gyms I've been to and I've been to gyms all over the state. It's a sad representation for Monroe's great program. Pelham's gym is nice, Randolph-Clay ponied up and has a gym to be proud of. Rutland High, where Monroe's girls played last year in the playoffs... now that's a nice gym. Just stating the obvious. Sorry I brought it up.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 8 months ago

35 posts on this ridiculous and completely meaningless and insignificant subject in light of the world's problems and the demands of Eternity?

You all have got to be kidding!?!?

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mrcvsjr 1 year, 8 months ago

Guess you couldn't sit idly by. In my opinon most of your posts are insignificant and meaningless.

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AuntieDee 1 year, 8 months ago

All I'm saying is it you have a problem with the Gym don't dump in here. It takes away from the kids' proud moment. Take it up with DCSS Board of Education. They control how and where the money is spent. It is not left up to the school.

No fight here. Those of us who travel with basketball knows the ends and out of all the gyms in this area. I have been privileged to travel with AAU basketball for 4 years from the ESPN wide World of Sports in FL to TX (and beyond). Ive seen all kinds of gyms. My baller has played in Sports academies where there are as many as 10 games going at a time with maybe seats for 100 throughout. What do we do when we don't have seats? We make the necessary adjustments. Not once in 4 years did I hear anyone complain. Why? People were there to support their teams, their sons, their family.

This post was not about the gym being small and dumpy. It was about Monroe winning home court advantage. And with that said, this is a done deal!

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dmyers80 1 year, 8 months ago

The post about the gym being small wasnt directed at you so why did you put so much into "defending" it? I've been to AAU tournaments, summer camps,(nike) and countless basketball games, and never have a school of this size AAAA with such a small gym, there are many A programs in the state with far bigger and better gyms!! That being said, you guys enjoy the tournament.

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MCHS13 1 year, 8 months ago

All these people talking about Monroe gym is to small to cramped in and its a safety hazard that's not the school's fault that's DCSS problem y'all are complaining to the wrong people.Nobody wants to hear your negative opinion about the gym because everybody has one just like yo ass witch you sit on. If you guys have so many negative things to say about the gym YOU invest into DCSS so that we can get a new gym.

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dmyers80 1 year, 8 months ago

Here we go again... How is that NEGATIVE???? So if its raining outside and I say "We're having bad weather today ". Am I being negative? and I said its not the schools fault!!

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rorschach 1 year, 8 months ago

Monroe's gym is fine. The gym is part of the Monroe mystique, like the old Boston Garden (not to be confused with Westover's gym) in the NBA. It'll be standing room only. At least the ref's won't have to fight their way out like they used to do back in the old days. My prediction: Monroe edging Westover for the championship with Albany and Dougherty being the remaining teams to get in state.

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dmyers80 1 year, 8 months ago

I pretty much agree with your predictions, 1 AAAA is anemic in boys basketball once you get outside of the Albany schools. I think that Albany high will be a sleeper, they never have the biggest team, but they are always scrappy, I look for them to finish 2nd or 3rd.

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