Town Crier News Staff
In a season in which Manila battled through several injuries to key players, the Lady Lions' perseverance was rewarded with a trip to this week's regional tournament at Bergman, thanks to Wednesday night's 58-36 district tournament win over Harrisburg at Manila.
Kimberly Wise's steal, lay-up and subsequent free throw to complete a three point play broke an early 4-4 tie and put the Lady Lions on top for good, despite Harrisburg's Candice Eskridge's 27 point performance.
The Lady Lions closed the quarter with a 14-5 advantage as freshman Wise scored eight of the team's 14 points. Manila increased their lead to 29-15 by the half. Eskridge tried to keep the Lady Hornets close, but got little help from her teammates as she finished with 13 of Harrisburg's 15 first half points.
Manila maintained their double digit lead, taking a 37-24 lead into the final quarter. The Lady Lions opened the fourth period as Michele Daniel ripped a three pointer and followed the triple with a driving lay-up to push the Lion lead to 42-24. Manila grabbed their biggest lead of the night, 56-32, when Kelce Misner scored from the inside at the 1:25 mark. The Lady Hornets offered little resistance as Eskridge provided their only significant offense, scoring 10 of Harrisburg's 12 fourth quarter points.
Wise finished the night with a team high 21 points to lead Manila while Daniel also hit double digits with 13 points. Rebekah White just missed double figures with eight points, Katie Veach ended the night with six points, Misner scored four while Colleen Kemp, Heather Dohzier, and Katie Donner added two points apiece. Manila was 5-7 from the foul line and hit three treys on the night.
The victory put Manila in the semi-finals Friday night against Hoxie, but the Lady Lions came up on the short end of a 70-61 decision despite a 20 point performance by senior Katie Veach.
Hoxie (22-4) put three players in double figures, led by Rachel Goff who scored a game high 24 points. Jessica Anglin recorded a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds while Megan Black added 11 points and eight boards.
Manila will open regional tournament play Thursday night at 7:00 as the number three seed from the 3A-3 Conference. The Lady Lions will face second seeded Marshall. If Manila wins, they will advance to a Friday night match-up against the winner of a first round game between East Poinsett County and Salem.