Titans hope to cook up a regional title on home floor


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Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2013, 7:55 pm
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By Terry Duckett, tduckett@qconline.com
Monmouth-Roseville boys' basketball coach Chuck Grant doesn't worry about his team's ability to handle big-game situations on the road.

However, that doesn't mean Grant, the school's athletic director as well, is willing to swap what he hopes are two more home dates at the Shoebox in this week's Class 2A regional tournament hosted by the top-seeded Titans.

"Of course, we pride ourselves on being a good road team," said Grant, whose 22-4 West Central North co-champions begin their postseason Wednesday night at 7:30 against either Macomb or Biggsville West Central. "One thing that helps us year in and year out is that we seem to play in a lot of big games. You get used to having that crowd at a feverish pitch."

With a double-overtime loss to Minonk Fieldcrest in last March's Princeton Sectional finals the only barrier between Monmouth-Roseville and the Elite Eight, the Titans are undoubtedly champing at the bit to get back to that level and beyond.

"It's awesome to play in a super-sectional," said Grant, who coached Mon-Rose to its only such appearance in 2007. "It'd be nice to get back in it, but we've got to stay focused on what's at hand. The last several weeks, we've focused on climbing back into the conference race, so we hadn't really talked much about the postseason.

"I do know from earlier discussions we've had that the guys would love to get back in the position they were last year and then try to take the team to the next level."

The Titans have both the outside and inside games to make them dangerous in the playoffs. They are led by junior point guard Martel Hunter's 14.5 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals per game. His perimeter skills augmented by 6-foot-6 junior forward Trayvon Smith (13 points, eight rebounds per game).

And, Mon-Rose has played all but one of the teams in its six-team regional gathering, with the exception being theBrad Jackson-coachedWest Central Heat (14-12), who play Macomb (5-18) in the first of tonight's first-round games in Monmouth.

"And, assuming Macomb beats West Central, we have beaten them twice, but I look at them as a team that's extremely dangerous," said Grant. "They've played a tough schedule, and they've played people well. Plus, as a coach you're never really comfortable playing out of a bye. I feel like it's important to get that first-round game under your belt. Being at home, at least that's one advantage we have."


















 



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  Today is Tuesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2014. There are 155 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Col. H.F. Sickless informs us that there will be new organization of troops in this state under the call for more men.
1889 -- 125 years ago: James Normoyle arrived home after graduating from West Point with honors in the class of 1889. He was to report to Fort Brady, Mich., as second lieutenant in the 23rd Infantry.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany and Austria refused an invitation of Sir Edward Grey to join Great Britain at a mediation conference.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Dr. William Mayo, the last of the three famous Mayo brother surgeons, died at the age of 78.
1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the biggest horse shows of the season was held yesterday at Hillandale Arena on Knoxville Road under the sponsorship of the Illowa Horsemen's Club.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Davenport is like a gigantic carnival this weekend with the Bix Arts Fest taking over 12 square blocks of the downtown area. A festive atmosphere prevailed Friday as thousands of people turned out to sample what the Arts Fest has to offer.








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