He knew early in the week he'd be gone for the team's Wesco 3A crossover tilt with Everett Friday night, so he and JV coach Zach Wilde kept it a secret until Thursday.
Monson traveled for his other job Friday and the Scots didn't panic, in fact they maintained composure well despite early offensive struggles on the way to a 48-37 home victory over the Seagulls.
"He has another job where he covers the Seahawks, so it was a possibility that he'd be flying out," Wilde said of Monson's job as radio pre- and post-game host. "We kind of knew early in the week, but we didn't want to upset the girls.
"They were excited (tonight without Monson), but they were ready for business. We needed this win. They wanted to go get it."
For several stretches throughout the night, the play was so sloppy it looked like neither team wanted to go get it. But the Scots defense took over in the fourth quarter, holding Everett without a field goal and outscoring the Seagulls 12-4.
"We condition a lot at practice, so we are more fit than everyone else and I think that helped us a lot," senior Annie Schlachter said. "They weren't able to run and we were."
Schlachter led the Scots with 17 points and junior Onyie Chibuogwu was close behind with 15, overcoming a 3-for-11 shooting night at the free-throw line.
Kiki Harper's 19 points led all scorers, but she was held scoreless for the final seven minutes of the game. Despite the Scots defense on Harper, the Seagulls were still in the game late.
Everett pulled to within four points when Darian Rielly hit a pair of free throws to make the score 41-37 with 2:37 to play.
On the other end, 6-foot-1 center Katy Hedington fouled out, trying to contain the explosive Chibuogwu, leaving Everett with no players taller than 5-foot-9 on the floor and just six uniformed players.
The Seagulls (3-4 Wesco 3A , 7-6 overall) have now lost five in a row and three since a winter break rules violation by multiple team members. Everett District policy dictates that the players miss 28 days. The team is still adjusting to their absence.
"We've talked about how obviously it's going to be a tough stretch over this time period," Everett coach John Low said. "But I just want them to battle and compete and they've done that … they are out there working and they are playing hard enough we just need to figure out what works for us on offense."
With less than two minutes left in the game and the team down 42-37, Harper tried to put the team on her back, driving the lane where she was greeted by two Scots who stuffed her attempt. When the referees didn't reward her with a foul call, Low was incensed and earned a technical foul. Schlachter hit both free throws all but ending the game.
The Scots won despite coming out of the gate as cold as the weather outside, unable to make virtually any shots from the floor no matter the range. Thankfully for Shorecrest, the Seagulls were sloppy enough that they didn't run away and hide. Everett built a 7-2 edge in the first six minutes, thanks to a pair of buckets by freshman Sydney Taggart, before the Scots took the imaginary lid off their basket.
"We all knew we had to step it up, because obviously that wasn't going to win us the game," Schlachter said. "So everyone stepped up."
Keegan Monson hit a pair of 3s back-to-back to give the Scots their first lead at 17-15.
Wilde got his first win as varsity coach and the Scots proved they can win without their head coach, who may have the same problem next week if the Seahawks can win their playoff game Sunday in Atlanta.
"I was just happy to get this win and now we can go root for the Seahawks on Sunday," Wilde said
At Shorecrest H.S.
Everett 12 11 10 4 -- 37
Shorecrest 9 16 11 12 -- 48
Everett--Kiki Harper 19, Bailey McMullen 0, Sydney Taggart 8, Darian Rielly 6, Katy Hedington 4, Overstreet 0, Ramerize 0. Shorecrest--Lindsey Shattuck 1, Wurrie Njadoe 0, Kathryn Lindsey 3, Annie Schlachter 17, Keegan Monson 6, Onyie Chibuogwu 15, Uju Chibuogwu 6. 3-point goals--Monson 2, Schlachter 2, U. Chibuogwu 1. Records--Everett 3-4 league, 7-6 overall. Shorecrest 4-3, 7-7.
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