A fast-paced game went the way of the Monroe Cheesemakers as they downed second-ranked Monona Grove 72-55 on Senior Night for the Silver Eagles.
In a game already starting early due to deteriorating road conditions in the greater Madison area, Monroe and Monona Grove battled in a back-and-forth start to the game, as the teams traded leads in the first 10 minutes of the contest. As Monroe staggered minutes, the Cheesemakers' two leading scorers, Sydney Hilliard and Emily Benzschawel, took turns padding Monroe's lead as the Cheesemakers took a 35-25 advantage into halftime.
Hilliard and Benzschawel started the second half hot as well, each ending up in double figures in the second half and a matching 22 points total in the game. Monroe led by as many as 21 in a thorough victory over Monona Grove, ending the Silver Eagles' 15-game winning streak.
McKenna Warnock led Monona Grove with 24 points, 15 of them coming in the second half, but no other Silver Eagle reached double figures. Monroe's solid defense and matching 22-point outings by their seniors proved to be enough for the #10 Cheesemakers on Tuesday night.
The teams now split their regular-season series (Monona Grove won in overtime in December) as a potential third meeting looms in the postseason.
MONONA GROVE: 25|30=55
Monroe Scoring: Sydney Hilliard 22, Emily Benzschawel 22, Megan Benzschawel 12, Grace Tostrud 8, Grace Mathiason 5, Emma Towne 5.
Monona Grove Scoring: McKenna Warnock 24, Seanna Curran 8, Jadee Christiansen 7, Kaylee Kellogg 5, Peyton Blang 4, Daryan Johnson 3, Jenny Gorton 3, Payton Nelson 1.
Monroe coach Sam Mathiason, Monona Grove coach Tyler Kuehl, and WisSports.net's Norbert Durst spoke after the game: