Matt Noble came up big for Manila in Tuesday's first round defeat of Trumann in the 3AAA South District Tournament. Noble hit a big three pointer with five seconds remaining to put the Lions up 55 - 54. The Wildcats looked for a victory as they led Manila 54 - 52 with 22 seconds remaining and the ball under their own goal. A bad inbound pass bounced off Trumann's Aaron Bentley giving the Lions another chance to tie the game or take the win. Manila worked the ball on the offense and even fumbled the ball a bit before Noble came up with the ball on the right wing and drained the trey giving Manila the lead. Trumann called a time out to set up the inbound play. Trumann's Revis Kemper received the inbound pass and drove three quarters of the court to shoot a layup but the ball bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded giving Manila a ticket to the next round against Gosnell.
Manila looked good coming out the gate as they opened up a 12 - 4 lead with 3:42 remaining in the opening frame. Trumann came alive and scored 10 unanswered points with six coming from senior Jerome Thigpen. Sophmore Jordan Wise scored for Manila to tie the score at 14 but Trumann's Alex Henry found the lane open to end the first quarter giving the Wildcats a 16 - 14 first quarter advantage.
Neither team could get a lead bigger than four in the second quarter as the score bounced back and forth. Senior Nate Morries sank a three pointer with 1:20 remaining in the half putting Manila up 31 - 28. Trumann's Aaron Bentley scored a conventional three point play after being fouled on the shot by Morries. Manila's Justin Hill sank a short jumper followed by a trey by Morries with two seconds left to give Manila a 36 - 31 halftime lead.
At the end of a fast third quarter the Lions had only scored two buckets but they were both treys by Morries and Noble coming at the beginning and end of the quarter. Trumann scored in between on a basket by Thigpen and Bentley. Henry once again found the lane with 1: 25 remaining to pull Trumann within 42 - 38.
The Wildcats scored six unanswered to tie the game once again at 44. After five lead changes Trumann went up three 53 - 50 with under a minute and a half to play. Manila senior Justin Kirk sank two free throws with 1:11 left pulling the Lions within 53 - 52.
Trumann's Clay McClung went to the line with 53.7 seconds remaining but missed the front end of a one and one. McClung redeemed himself with 25.8 seconds left sinking one of two free throws giving the Wildcats a 54 - 52 advantage. On the missed second free throw Henry flew into the lane to tie the ball with possession going to Trumann. The Wildcats called time out and Coach Anthony Brewington told his players to stick to man to man and create a turnover. The Lions did just that causing Trumann to commit their 17th turnover of the game setting up Noble's final shot.
"Our sophmores came up big for Manila tonight," Brewington stated, "Matt (Noble) had just missed a layup but he and the rest of the team never quit."
Nate Morries led Manila with 18 followed by 12 from Matt Noble. Others scoring in the win were: Jordan Wise - nine; Mitchell Gammill - six; Justin Hill - six; and Justin Kirk - four.
Trumann's Alex Henry led all scorers with 19 followed in double figures by Jerome Thigpen with 16. Others scoring for Trumann were: Aaron Bentley - six; Revis Kemper - six; Adam Sloan - four; Clay McClung - three.