(Town Crier photo/Trent Fletcher)
EPC's smothering defense and hot outside shooting proved too much for the fifth seeded Lions, who lost for the second straight year to the Warriors in the championship game.
"Most people didn't expect us to be in the finals, but our kids played excellent all week," said Lion Coach John Deaton. "There are a lot of other teams that would have liked to have been playing in this game tonight. EPC has a very good team and deserved the win. But I am very proud of our kids."
(Town Crier photos/Trent Fletcher)
EPC kept up the pressure in the third quarter, putting the game away as the Lions committed six more turnovers, helping the Warriors to a 40-15 lead heading into the final frame.
Blake Miller led Manila with six points while Dillon Burrow chipped in five. Dylan Bogle and Korey Cain added four points apiece while Trey Walker pitched in one.
Dylan Bogle's basket with three seconds left lifted the Lions over top seeded Riverside 52-50 in Thursday's semi-final action. Bogle finished the night with a game high 25 points, including four three pointers. Zack Day and Dillon Burrow also hit double figures with 12 and 11 points respectively. Garrett Baker pitched in four points. The Lions made 11-13 free throws and hit five treys on the night.
Riverside placed three players in double digits, led by Morgan Fletcher's 16 points. Cole Winford netted 14 while Logan Meurer added 11 more.
Manila opened the tournament with a 57-44 victory over fourth seeded Marked Tree on Monday night. Dillon Burrow and Blake Miller topped the Lions with 21 and 19 points respectively. Garrett Baker netted nine points while Dylan Bogle added eight more.
Darius Ivy and Jerry Phillips led Marked Tree with 13 and 10 points respectively.