Palmyra boys vow to keep focus after knocking off arch-rival Monroe City for 15th straight victory


Palmyra's Bear Bock dribbles to the basket past Monroe City's Trey Smyser during Tuesday night's high school boys basketball game at Monroe City High School. | Photo courtesy of Alicia Deming

MONROE CITY, Mo. — Palmyra took another huge step toward the Clarence Cannon Conference boys basketball championship Tuesday night.

The storyline was a familiar one.

“Defense,” Palmyra coach Brian Rea said. “It’s always defense.”

There’s absolutely no arguing that point.

The 48-25 victory over arch-rival Monroe City — which, like Palmyra, entered the game unbeaten in league play — was every bit as convincing as the final margin indicates.

Palmyra (20-1) won its 15th consecutive game and did not allow Monroe City (14-8) to reach double figures in any quarter. At no point over the final 3 1/2 periods did any doubt exist about the eventual outcome.

“This was one of our better overall games,” said Rea, whose teams have posted a 40-9 record in two years at Palmyra.

While Palmyra’s victory left it as the only unbeaten school in the conference, there is no worry about putting the proverbial cart before the horse.

“We’re only focused on the next game,” said Carson Hicks, a 6-foot-3 senior forward who led Palmyra with 7 rebounds on its way to a commanding 25-14 advantage on the boards. “For us, it’s always one game at a time.”

A new hero seems to appear most every night for Palmyra, which has held 15 opponents below 40 points and four beneath 30. Palmyra, 5-0 in the CCC, has given up only 32.1 points a game in those conference victories. Monroe City is now 3-1 in league play.

That the wealth is spread around most nights, whether it be offensively, defensively or rebounding-wise, is no accident according to Rea.

“That kind of teamwork is what basketball is all about,” said Rea, whose club led 15-9, 25-14 and 38-21 at the quarter breaks.

Palmyra saw freshman Hudson Bock scored 16 points and senior brother Bear Bock added 11, but most damage was arguably done with a collective defensive effort that drew plenty of praise from Monroe City coach Brock Edris.

“Any time you have a rivalry game like this, both teams are going to be fired up … and Palmyra handled that kind of atmosphere better,” Edris said. “Palmyra does a lot of things very well.”

That includes bottling up any inside presence Monroe City attempted to create.

“They didn’t allow us to attack,” Edris said. “Give Palmyra credit. They held us to 25 points.”

Edris credited Palmyra’s inside personnel — primarily Hicks, Jeremiah Edwards and Bear Bock — for controlling the key and baseline areas and thwarting just about any effort Monroe City tried to establish an inside game.

Monroe City has lost three games to Palmyra this season and is averaging just 31.7 points a game in those setbacks. Overall, Monroe City has dropped five straight to Palmyra, which follows a stretch between 2018 and 2022 that saw Monroe City win 16 straight in the rivalry. 

Guard Quincy Mayfield (8) and forward Waylon DeGrave (7) combined for 15 Monroe City points. No Monroe City player had more than three rebounds.

Pierce White (7), Edwards (4), Hicks (4) and Ryan McKinney (4) combined for an additional 19 Palmyra points.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jeremiah Edwards was misidentified in an earlier version of this story.

Miss Clipping Out Stories to Save for Later?

Click the Purchase Story button below to order a print of this story. We will print it for you on matte photo paper to keep forever.

Related Articles

Muddy River Breakdown

Follow the Scores