Meadowbrook advanced to the regional semi-finals via victories over Huguenot and Hermitage, to face the Dominion District regular season champions in the Monacan Chiefs. The first trip this deep into the postseason for the Monarchs under third year head coach Danny Connor, the team had started slowly this season and played well throughout the second half. Turnovers, rebounding, and offensive troubles plagued the Lady Monarchs throughout the game and they fell 59-44 to the Chiefs.
“It looked like déjà-vu out there,” said Connor. “We sort of reverted to how we played in the beginning of the season when we had our struggles, we couldn’t run our offense.”
After a close fought first quarter, Monacan was able to apply defensive pressure and turn up the heat on Meadowbrook who struggled to run plays to try to score baskets. Couple that with 14 first half turnovers and Monacan’s ability to get high percentage shots, and that gave the Chiefs a 14 point half-time lead.
“Monacan applied great defensive pressure,” said Connor. “But that’s how we practice- as if we’re getting pressured,” he continued. “We just didn’t react.”
The Chiefs would open the lead up to as much as 22 points, and the Monarchs fought back a bit, but it was too late.
Meadowbrook was led by junior Brittany Nicholson, who scored 13 points. Anastasia Daniels led the team with nine rebounds. Shamika Finch chipped in eight points and six rebounds. Star forward Ashley Pegram had an uncharacteristic performance, fouling out in the fourth quarter, totaling just seven points in the contest. Monacan was led by sophomore Micaela Parson with 20 points.
Despite the loss, Meadowbrook will start next season with a strong nucleus of this year’s team in the place with the main difference being playoff experience. Pegram, Nicholson, Sycoya Dorsey will all be seniors next year, and Finch and Jourdyn Friend will be juniors. All were key contributors on the team this year.
“This playoff experience was key for these girls,” said Connor. “They accomplished a lot- a great regular season and a district championship,” he continued. “They will take this and learn from it.”
The Lady Monarchs finished their season 21-8, winning the regular season Central District Championship and the tournament. The team’s personal accolades included: Connor was named Central District girls’ coach of the year. Pegram was voted district player of the year. Nicholson and Pegram both received all-first team honors and Nicholson received all-academic honors.