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 Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

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1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.






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