Monk, EPC take down No. 1 PA

Future two-sport Razorback Marcus Monk leads way as East Poinsett Country dismantles No. 1 and two-time defending state champ Pulaski Academy in the Class AAA state tournament semifinal round.

OZARK - Future two-sport Razorback Marcus Monk had 8 points, 13 rebounds, 8 blocks and 7 assists unofficially as his East Poinsett County squad dismantled No. 1 Pulaski Academy 52-31 in a Class AAA state tournament semifinal round game at Ozark on Saturday afternoon.

PA (34-1), who came in riding a 54-game winning streak, was ranked No. 22 in the country before the loss and had won the last two state titles.

"We weren't intimidated," EPC head coach Kevin Kyzer said. It's been hard to hold them back, they have been waiting on this for so long."

The two-time defending champs faced a crowd that was overwhelming for EPC and behind Monk, who will play football at basketball at the University of Arkansas next season.

"We brought all of Lepanto," Monk said. "There are not too many people there, but they love us and support us and it looked like we picked up some new fans as well."

While Monk didn't put up a ton of points and only took eight shots, the offense ran through him.

"Our philiosophy is for him to touch the ball every time down the floor because if he does somebody else is getting open shots," Kyzer said. "Everything collapses on him. He is such a good passer. He reminds me an awful lot of (former Razorback) Joe Johnson with his passing skills."

PA jumped to a 9-2 lead on a trio of 3-pointers by senior sharpshooter Sammy Munsey.

The Bruins actually led 11-5 early in the second quarter before EPC (34-1) went on a phenomenal 24-0 run as PA went scoreless for over 11 minutes deep into the third quarter.

"I don't think they do anything or had any tricks defensively," PA head coach Matt Daniel said. "We didn't execute offensively like we could have or should have and like we typically do. You don't get to be No. 22 in the country and 34-0 without execution on offense and digging in on defense. They were hitting shots, getting the loose balls and offensive rebounds and put-backs. Things just went there way today."

PA's top three players all fouled out - two on technical fouls, of which there were three called against PA.

"In life you are going to get some things that don't necessarily go your way and you can mouth off or pop off or haul off and hit somebody, but that's not going to work anything out," Daniel said. "You have to deal with those things and roll with the punches. You can either bow up or bow down and typically we bow up. Today, we bowed up in the wrong fashion."

Monk, whose blocks preceeded all three of the technicals, was proud that his team kept its composure during the contest and was surpised that PA did not.

One of PA's fans sporting an Alabama football cap and five of their students were ejected from the building by game officials.

"They are a team that is not used to being down - you could tell," Monk said. "When they got down, their tempers got short and they start pushing and everything and it started wearing on them."

P.J. led EPC with 13 points, which will now face a conference foe - either Gosnell or Osceola - in the finals next Saturdy at 3 p.m. in North Little Rock's Alltel Arena.

Munsey, who wants to be a Razorback, led PA with 10 as he, Buddy Harding and Will Peoples all fouled out.

"He (Munsey) is still undecided, but I don't mind telling you Samuel wants to be a Razorback," Daniel said. "It's been his lifelong dream. Can he play at that level? He's capable of playing at that level. He has got a lot of potential.

"I think he is the best shooter in the state and one of the best in the country," Daniel added. "He started off today's game with a 9-0 by himself and started off yesterday's game with a 16-0 run by himself. I hope he gets the chance to be a Razorback."

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