The Lions did one better on Friday and defeated Osceola 77-73; one point more than they defeated them at Osceola. The win lets Manila hold on to sole possession of second place in conference play at 6-2 and improves their overall record to 20-5.
Osceola led the Lions 22-20 after one but Manila roared back in the second to take a 37-35 halftime advantage. The Lions outscored the Seminoles 20-18 in the third for a 57-53 advantage and that was enough to hold the Noles as both teams scored 20 in the final frame. "We made some defensive
mistakes but these guys (Manila) never gave up and didn't quit," Manila Coach Anthony Brewington said.
Manila trailed by one with under a minute to play and took advantage of Osceola's freeze at the charity stripe. The Noles who were 8 of 19 on the night weren't able to convert on free throws while Manila took advantage on sharp free throw shooting at the end from Matt Noble and Cody Wells to gain the lead. Manila led by two with 11 seconds remaining and came away
with a steal as Chase Shelton deflected the ball and Noble picked up the ball. Passing to Wells Osceola had no choice but to foul Wells sending him to the line drive the final nails sinking both free throws giving Manila the final score. Manila shot 13 of 16 from the line and put in 10 treys on the night. "Free throws made a huge difference at the end," Coach
Brewington stated, "We were able to hit some big free throws and they (Osceola) were missing."
The Lions were led by Jonesboro Sun's "triple threat"; as the crowd chose to chant "triple threat" at the end of the game. Junior Cody Wells led the Lions with 24 despite not feeling up to par. Seniors Jordan Wise and Matt Noble led with 20 and 17 respectively. Senior Derrick Wright added eight while picking up some huge rebounds in the match up. Chase Shelton put in
six and P.J. Brumley added two for the Lions.
Osceola was led by Aundrez Adams with 19 followed by Justin Lewis with 17. Also scoring in double figures for the Noles were: Cameron Jones 16 and Darrius Harris 10.
"We need to win at least two out of the next four to hold on to second place in conference play, three would be even better," Brewington said of Manila's standing in the 3AAA South Conference.
Marianna is setting in first with one loss; Manila has two losses; Gosnell has three; and Osceola has four.
The junior Lions improved to 5-3 in conference play and 11-12 overall defeating Osceola 68-57. Manila led by two, 14-12, after one and pushed the lead to 30-23 at the half. Manila outscored Osceola 21-13 in the third to take a 51-46 advantage and held on for their second win over the junior Noles.
Manila was led by Rickey Langston with 22 points. Scoring in double figures with Langston were: Tony Benham with 12; Ross Malloy with 11; and Chad Nunnally with 10. Trey McCormick added nine and Jace Elkins four in the win.
Osceola's junior Noles was led by Ojay Cullins with 21 and Andy Jackson with 16.