WARRENSBURG - For most of the 2010-11 basketball season, Warrensburg Nick Monroe has been the backup guy, the blue-collar player who'd go out on the court and get his work done without any fanfare - for a team that has struggled for several years.
On Jan. 28, that status changed.
With about a minute to go in a game against Corinth, a tough team with a winning tradition, Monroe stepped into the spotlight.
Buoyed by his teammates who were playing with intensity and had carved a 10 point fourth-quarter deficit down to two, Monroe hit a three-pointer that gave the Burghers the lead for the first time in the game.
Burgher fans went wild.
Then with a slim one-point advantage, Monroe and his teammates pressured Corinth to take a bad shot. The Burghers snagged the rebound, and Monroe was fouled.
At the foul line, Monroe took two shots, and both throws stripped the net - dead center in the rim.
With the 55-51 win, Warrensburg earned a late-season upset, just as Burgher coach Steve Nolan had advised them to achieve - despite trailing all night, he recalled Monday.
"I told the players not to accept defeat, not to let another game get away from us," he said. "I said this game was the first step in a ladder to turn the season around - we needed to play together, with poise and confidence."
The players responded to the pep talk, Nolan said.
"They all started to step up and handle the ball with confidence, and not just rely on John Joseph and Ryan Belden," he said. "They tightened up on defense, started to crash the boards, and they raised their level of confidence on offense."
Monroe, particularly was a target for the advice. Early on, he got into foul trouble, and sitting on the bench between Nolan and Assistant Coach Rex Reynolds, he undoubtedly got plenty of advice.