The Junior and Senior Lions of Manila had an outstanding season. Both teams overcame a lot of tough adversaries to gain several honors.
Manila's Junior Lions were small in size but had a Lion's heart. Going 24-6 in the season and taking second place in the Nettleton Invitational was the beginning of their accomplishments.
The team used good shooting skills and excellent team work to defeat more athletic teams and take the 3AAA South Conference Title with a 12-0 record.
"They got better as the season went on and improved in all areas of the game," Coach Anthony Brewington, said.
The Junior Lions will lose all five starters next season. Freshmen Matt Noble and Jordan Wise will be missed in the front court along with a cool headed Klayton Seyler. Boo Grayson and Anthony Lancaster will leave a big vacancy on the inside and baseline. A group of talented eighth graders will be returned next season for Manila.
Who says the under-lions can't win? Manila, 27-10, entered three tournaments with no higher than a 3-seed in any one and came home with trophies in all three.
The Tri-County tourney was the first for the Lions who were seeded third. After defeating BIC and Paragould, the Lions fell to EPC and took runner-up honors. Manila picked up a seven seed in the NEA Tourney along with a tough bracket. Knocking off Piggott in first round action found the Lions facing EPC. Manila upset the second seed Warriors to face Cave City in semi-final action and moved on to face number one Hughes. Manila took NEA runner-up falling to Hughes.
Manila went 7-5 in Conference play to gain a four seed in the 3AAA South District Tournament The Lions met EPC again after defeating Gosnell in first round action. A basket with seven seconds remaining gave Manila advance to final action against Valley View.
The Lions fell to Valley View twice in the season but the third time was a charm for Manila as they picked up the District Champs Title.
When asked about this exceptional team Brewington stated, "They have a good chemistry and play well together. We came on at the end of the season despite injuries."
Manila will lose four starters this season, Josh McCullough, Ken Seyler, Adam Donner and Jacob Walker. Junior Nate Morries will return next year to lead the Lions.