By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
Foul trouble didn't change the way Palmyra boys basketball coach Brian Meny wanted the Panthers to play.
They kept applying pressure.
Palmyra erased a nine-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter with an offensive outburst that led to 27 points over the final eight minutes and a 58-51 victory over South Shelby in the semifinals of the 88th annual Monroe City Tournament.
Palmyra (3-1) forced 29 turnovers and took advantage of 17 steals.
"Our pressure defense finally got to them," Meny said. "The defense picked up, the traps were better, the rotation was better. It led to a lot of easy buckets."
Steals by Jordan Nutt and Brock Butler set up 3-pointers by Trevor Meny that sparked the run at the start of the fourth quarter. Trevor Meny converted a three-point play to tie the game before Bazil Keller made a jumper to put Palmyra ahead with around two minutes remaining.
"We made big shots, but we needed something to set those shots up," Meny said. "Our guys did a good job of getting steals."
Trevor Meny scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, while Butler had seven of his 17 points in the frame. Keller added 11 points.
South Shelby built a 31-17 halftime lead behind strong performances from Andrew McClure (14 points) and Cabe Simpson (12).
Palmyra advances to face either Marion County or Marceline in Saturday night's championship game.
In the boys consolation bracket, Monroe City made 5 of 7 free throws in the fourth quarter to hold off Mark Twain and earn a 54-51 victory.
The Panthers led 41-35 after three quarters, but Garrett Jarman fueled the Tigers' comeback.
He went 6 of 6 from the line and scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, but Mark Twain made only three field goals the final eight minutes.
Kyle Fulton scored13 for Monroe City, while Grant O'Bryan added 10 points.
In the girls semifinals, Kiette Mundy scored 13 points and Kelly Winking went 5 of 6 from the line as Monroe City reached the championship with a 46-42 victory over Marion County.
It spoiled an 18-point effort from Marion County's Kaelyn Spratt, who hit three 3-pointers.
In the consolation bracket, Cassidy Johnston went 13 of 15 from the free-throw line and scored a game-high 23 points as South Shelby beat Mark Twain 52-43.
Kellie Harvey hit three 3-pointers and scored 18 points for the Lady Birds (2-4).
Kayla Palmer scored 10 points for Mark Twain (1-4).