Casey shot just 31 percent (9 of 29) before intermission and committed seven turnovers but managed to lead at the half thanks in part to a 22-16 rebounding advantage while getting several second and third shots at the basket. They also forced nine Monticello turnovers and limited the Trojans to just 26 percent shooting (6 of 23).
Beth Patterson connected on 6 of 7 shots from the field and collected seven rebounds to score 12 first half points for the Rebels, while senior Meagan Murphy added six points and also grabbed seven rebounds.
Salyers, however, wasn't pleased with the quickness of some of his team's shots.
"We talked about being more patient and wanted to take the ball inside to Beth and Meagan more during the second half," the Casey coach said. "We didn't take bad shots during the first half, we just took quick shots. One pass and shoot. That's what we did for most of the half. I felt like we did a much better job the second half."
Patterson said that they were not expecting Monticello to be as physical as they were.
"We didn't think they would play that physical," Patterson said. "Coach wasn't that upset with all the 3s we shot in the first half, but he felt like if we would go inside we would be okay."
As it turned out, he was right.
Casey goes inside in second half
Casey shot just three times from beyond the arc in the second half after missing on all eight attempts from 3-point range during the first half.
"We wanted to go inside out more in the second half, and the fact we hit a couple shots early enabled us to get the ball inside more," Salyers said.
He also wanted to put pressure on anyone Monticello put outside the 3-point arc. It worked throughout the game as the Trojans went 0-10 during the first half and 1-16 for the game from long range.
"We knew they liked to shoot a lot of 3s and wanted to pressure them everytime they got in position to shoot," Salyers said. "If they hit six or seven 3s, we were in trouble."
Monticello (7-20) closed the Casey lead to just two to begin the second half when Heather Carrender connected on Monticello's only 3 of the night and Audra Turner hit a runner in the lane. Casey, though, went on an 11-2 scoring run over the next four minutes and led 34-24 entering the final period.
Monticello went to a zone to begin the final frame and Casey was content to run out as much of the clock as they could before finally settling for lay-ups. Murphy scored half of her 16 points for the game in the final quarter, mainly from right under the basket.
"Meagan struggled to get her shots to fall in the first half and said, 'Coach, I don't know what I am doing that my shots won't fall,'" Salyers said. "I told her to keep shooting because eventually they would start falling. She went to the basket stronger in the second half and her shot finally started to drop for her."
Casey finished the game hitting 21 of 41 shots from the field for a 51 percent mark while Monticello hit on only 12 of 43 chances for 28 percent. Casey won the rebounding battle 31-24 as Patterson pulled off 10 missed shots, Murphy nine and Kelli Warner seven. The Rebels turned the ball over 18 times compared to Monticello's 15.
MONTICELLO (7-20) - Brittany Carrender 1, Alesha Gehring 1, Audra Turner 10, Heather Carrender 3, Meg Phillips 13, Sierra Adams 6.
CASEY COUNTY (13-16) - Lindsay Wilson 1, Kelli Warner 7, Beth Patterson 17, Bethany Snow 3, Tabitha Yaden 5, Meagan Murphy 16.