Manila jumped to an early lead and kept East Poinsett County at arms length the entire game en route to a 58-48 victory over the defending tournament champion Lady Warriors in the finals of the Gerald Jennings Invitational Tournament Saturday night at Gosnell.
"Our best offense was our defense," said Manila Coach Jeff Priest. "Every time EPC would make a run at us, we were able to hold them off. We hit several big three pointers when we needed them. We didn't play great, but we scored when we needed to and made the plays."
Manila (8-1) also got seven points from Tiffany Pentecost while Colleen Kemp added four. Savannah Jones scored three, Katie Donner netted two while Kristen Painter added one to finish out the Lady Lion scoring. Manila drilled four three pointers on the evening and hit 13-24 from the foul line.
The Lady Lions held a 13-8 lead after the first period and stretched their advantage to
31-22 by the half. Manila took a 44-35 lead into the final quarter.
"Our defense really came through for us down the stretch," said Priest. "Colleen and Katie both came up with a couple of key steals that led to baskets. Katie also had a big steal at the end of the first quarter that led to a bucket, and I thought that gave us a lot of momentum. Everyone played well. Kimberly had a big game offensively and Rebekah provided some excellent inside punch. It's a good feeling, bringing the trophy home. I am very happy and proud of all of them."
Madison McCorcle and Katelyn Armstrong led EPC with nine points apiece. The Lady Warriors were playing without star guard Jordan Madden who sat out with an injury.
The Lady Lions advanced to the finals with a come from behind 53-50 victory over Valley View on Thursday night. The two teams went into the fourth quarter tied 32-32, but when Colleen Kemp nailed a 10-foot jumper with 3:26 to go, the Lady Lions went up 39-37 and never trailed again. Kimberly Wise followed Kemp's basket with a steal and a coast to coast lay-up that pushed the lead to 41-37.
The Lady Blazers fought back and cut the lead to 47-46 with 1:16 left, but Manila hit key free throws down the stretch to put the game away.
Wise led Manila with 17 while White and Kemp scored 14 and 13 points respectively. Pentecost added six points on a pair of three pointers while Painter added three.
Amy Philamlee led Valley View with 15 points while Colley Hundley added 14 more.
Manila opened the tournament with a 59-42 victory over Armorel behind Rebekah White's 22 point performance. Colleen Kemp scored 15 while Kimberly Wise also hit double digits with 11. Kristen Painter tallied seven while Savannah Jones pitched in four.
Manila led 15-11 after the first quarter, 28-17 at the half and 40-26 heading into the fourth quarter. Katelyn Brown topped the Lady Tigers with 15 points.
Manila picked up a 3A-3 conference win with a 72-45 victory at Earle Monday night.
Kimberly Wise pumped in a game high 25 points to lead the Lady Lions, who also got 15 points from Rebekah White and 13 more from Kristen Painter. Colleen Kemp, Katie Donner, Savannah Jones and Leigha Woody all scored four points apiece while Tiffany Pentecost tallied three.
The Lady Lions held a 12-9 first quarter lead before taking a 32-26 advantage into the dressing room at the half. Manila stretched their margin to 47-39 heading into the fourth period where the Lions broke the game open, outscoring Earle 25-6 in the final frame.
Manila will return to action Monday night when they travel to Corning to take on the Lady Bobcats. The Lady Lions will journey to Hoxie for another 3A-3 conference battle on Thursday night.