The Lady Bulldogs had already dispatched Monett twice this season in area tournaments and were looking to make it three straight over the Lady Cubs.
Carl Junction was headed in the right direction as the Lady Bulldogs quickly built a 10-5 lead. Monett regrouped and countered with a 9-0 spurt keyed by baskets from Hunter Glouse, Kelsey Wiseman and Faith Schmidt to lead 14-10 at the end of the first.
"That run was the most exciting basketball we have played all season," said Monett coach Derrek Uhl. "I never felt like we were out of this game. The girls did a great job on knuckling down and fighting through a very physical game."
The Lady Bulldogs re-established control in the second quarter when Glouse went to the bench with foul trouble, outscoring Monett 15-5 to lead 25-19 at halftime.
"Hunter is our scoring threat," said Uhl. "When she's on the floor, it helps to calm are girls down, because they aren't wondering where the points are coming from. Tonight, Hunter's game matured a little bit more. She saw the whole court and was able to find open teammates for easy baskets."
In the third period, Carl Junction stretched its advantage to 7 points on three occasions only to see the Lady Cubs claw back. Brooke Madison came off the bench and collected three steals that led to 7 Monett points.
"We had several players step up and collect key steals," said Uhl. "The key tonight and against Diamond is that we're finishing on the offensive end by scoring. Brooke was key in helping us climb back in the second half."
The Lady Cubs whittled the Lady Bulldogs' advantage to 1 point on Schmidt's steal and layup with 5:36 remaining in the fourth and took a 38-37 lead on Raigan Ratliff's short jumper at 4:47.
The Lady Bulldogs regained the lead 15 seconds later, but a Cheryl Barnes' layup moved Monett ahead 41-39, and it was a lead the Lady Cubs would not relinquish. Monett went six of eight at the charity stripe in the final three and a half minutes to seal the victory.
Brenlee McPherson led Carl Junction in scoring with 16 points.
Scoring for Monett were: Glouse, 12; Madison, 9, Faith Schmidt, 8; Raigan Ratliff, 7; Barnes, 6; Wiseman, 4; and Jessica Schmidt, 1.
The Lady Cubs travel to Aurora on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.