BY KYLE NELSON
Wednesday night the Cooper City Cowboys faced off against the Monarch High School Knights at home. The teams had a matchup in pre season, with Monarch taking the win, giving the Cowboys a reason to come into this game with vengeance. During Wednesday’s game, sophomore Dallas Graziani lead the team in points, scoring 41 points during the game. The Cowboys took the win 73-61 over Monarch.
For most of the game, the Cowboys kept a comfortable 15 point lead over the Knights, but in the beginning of the fourth quarter, Monarch thinned out the lead to a four point deficit.
Shooting free throws and threes was the key for the Cowboys throughout the entire game, it especially proved true as Monarch’s defense was letting few players get close to the basket. The Cowboys saw no issue with this as they were passing specifically to their most accurate shooters. The first three scored was from sophomore Dallas Graziani very early in the first quarter. Senior Dylan Graziani came down after a missed three point shot, got the rebound, passed to sophomore Bryce Weinsier who then passed to Dallas Graziani who would shoot it in for another 3. Senior Brandon Greco was leading Monarch in scoring for the first quarter and throughout the rest of the game. Greco put up 13 points during the matchup. After juniors Damien Forbing and Chris Allen put up five more points in the end of the first, Cooper City would move into the second quarter with a comfortable 22-11 lead.
Cooper City came out firing in the second quarter. After Monarch’s shooting guard Jonathan Montalvo scored for two, Dallas Graziani would follow up with another three point shot. Greco scored again for Monarch, bringing the score to 25-17. Then, Dallas Graziani and Andres Garcia, draining threes right in front of the Knight’s defense. After Dylan Graziani and Andres Garcia scoring back to back, the Knights found it difficult to recover. After a foul, Dallas Graziani then scored another two point shot from close to the basket. Later in the quarter, Cooper City went on a 9-0 run to bring the deficit to 13 points. In the end of the second quarter, the Cowboys were leading 40-26.
“My job for this team is really just to put points on the board and that’s what I try to do,” sophomore Dallas Graziani said.
Cooper City picked up right where they left off in the third. Damien Forbing was the first to score for Cooper City, bringing the score to 42-26. Brandon Greco and Eric Baltazard for Monarch put up back to back points, forcing the Cowboys to move onto defense. Cooper City found their break when Dylan Graziani missed a three, Bryce Weinsier took the rebound and scored for two. This got the ball rolling for the Cowboys, Damien Forbing then tipped the ball in for two, bringing the score to 50-30 by the end of the second period, giving the Cowboys a 20 point difference moving into the fourth period.
Early in the fourth, Monarch came out with fast breaks and offensive rebounds. The Knights diminished the lead significantly, the deficit was cut down to 4 points with 5:14 left in the game. Dylan and Dallas Graziani picked up multiple fouls and Dallas pulled up another three to solidify the Cowboy win.
Apart from this game being the second matchup of the two teams this year, sophomore Dallas Graziani scored 41 points in the matchup. With the Cowboys now sitting second in district 8A behind Dwyer, they are looking to make a run for the district title.
Final score: 73-61
Photo by Kyle Nelson