Lions roar past Mustangs 77-60

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

J.J. Helton drilled six of his seven three pointers in the third quarter to lead the Lions to a 77-60 3A-3 conference victory over a scrappy Hoxie team Friday night at Manila. The Lions remained unbeaten on the season, thanks to the hot shooting of Helton and senior guard Blake Wheeler, who also drained six three pointers of his own. Manila finished with 14 treys on the night in improving to 4-0 on the season.

Kam Ashabranner splits two Mustang defenders during Lion's Friday night victory over Hoxie.

Hoxie started the game with a pair of treys of their own from guard Zach Crisler, and held a 13-11 lead after the opening period. The two teams fought back and forth in the second quarter, and went into the dressing room at intermission tied 27-27.

The third quarter belonged to Manila, as the Lions outscored the Mustangs 28-14. Helton started his three point barrage at the 6:18 mark and followed with another trey moments later to cap a 9-0 Lion run, giving Manila a 36-27 lead midway through the period. Cade Crisler brought Hoxie back, scoring five straight points to cut the Lion lead to four before Helton drilled his third straight three pointer, giving Manila a 39-32 lead with 4:51 left in the quarter.

Hoxie battled back with a pair of buckets, but Levi Wallace answered by completing a conventional three point play. Manila took control for good starting with Helton's four point play at the 3:17 mark. Helton drained a long three pointer out of the right corner, was fouled and made the free throw, giving the Lions a 10 point lead, 46-36. After a Mustang basket, Helton and Wheeler combined for three consecutive treys, giving the Lions a 55-38 lead to put the game away.

Manila's Blake Wheeler drives the lane in Lion's 77-60 win over Hoxie. (Town Crier photo/Trent Fletcher)

"We didn't come out with great intensity at the start of the game," said Lion Coach Bill Taylor. "We knew we had a game on our hands, but we came out in the third quarter and took control, thanks to Helton's hot shooting. I was disappointed with our inside game tonight. We were a bigger team than Hoxie, and should have controlled the inside, but we just didn't finish. We'll work on that and we'll get better. We need to find a better balance of post play and perimeter play. But Hoxie played a very good game. They have a couple of real good guards."

Helton finished the night with 24 points while Wheeler added 20 more. Kam Ashabranner pumped in 13 points while Garrett Scott also hit double digits with 12 points. Wallace scored five points while Tracey Wade Reinhart added three.

Cade Crisler led Hoxie with 19 points while Zach Crisler added 17. Coy Yasler chipped in 15 points.

In junior high action, Manila overpowered Hoxie 60-35. Zach Reinhart led all scorers with 23 points, including six three pointers. The Lions finished with 11 treys on the night. Dylan Bogle scored 11 points while Caleb Reinhart added nine points. Kyler Williams scored five points, Tanner Platz tallied four, Dustin Sirmon netted three while Kyle Joyner and Korey Cain added two points apiece. Jordan Goff chipped in one point to round out the Manila scoring attack.

A host of Manila Lions converge on a Hoxie Mustang in junior high basketball action Friday night at Manila. (Town Crier photo/Trent Fletcher)

Manila rolled over Corning 88-51 Tuesday night behind Helton's 21 point performance. Wheeler and Wallace added 12 and 11 points respectively.

In junior high action, Manila got by Corning 37-31 behind Bogle's 21 points. Cain tallied four, Zach Reinhart and Sirmon netted three points apiece while Platz, Caleb Reinhart and Scott Eubanks tallied two points each.

Manila will return to action Tuesday night when they travel to Tuckerman.

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