Jr. Lions take second in Gerald Jennings Tournament

Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Manila Junior Lions, from left: Travis Caldwell, Jordan Moore, Korey Cain, Zachary Day, Blake Miller, Jordan Brewer, Colbey Williams, Dillon Burrow, Zachary Reinhart, Dylan Bogle, JR Dehart, Dylan Carmichael, Garrett Baker, Trey Walker. (Town Crier photo/Trent Fletcher)

East Poinsett County took an early lead and never looked back, posting a 49-20 victory over host Manila Saturday night to claim the Gerald Jennings Invitational Tournament title.

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."

Junior Lion Blake Miller (31) in action Saturday night against EPC in the finals of the Gerald Jennings Tournament at Manila. (Town Crier photos/Trent Fletcher)

The Warriors grabbed a 16-6 first period lead, thanks to a trio of treys, including two from Jori Ford. EPC stretched their advantage in the second quarter to 27-11 heading into halftime, forcing eight Lion turnovers during the period. The Warriors built a 27-8 lead before Dillon Burrow's three pointer sliced the margin to 16 at the half.

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.

Manila's Dylan Bogle (23) tries to position himself for a basket Saturday night in the Gearld Jennings championship game with East Poinsett County.

A. J. Turner led the third seeded Warriors with 14 points while Dray Young added 10 more.

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.

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