The Manila Lady Lions gave a good effort in the championship game of the 3A-3 District Tournament at Corning Saturday, but fell just short of their bid to claim the district crown, falling to the Lady Colts of Rivercrest, 56-51.
Rivercrest hit two buckets inside and sank five of 10 at the free throw line through the first seven minutes of the final frame. Manila powered back with an outside assault, thanks to three-pointers from Deven Burrow, Kailen Shelton, Taylor Teague, Kirsten Adcock and Kristen Wise. Wise's three brought Manila within one point, 52-51, with 55 seconds left in the contest and was set up by a Shelton steal. Damonique Brown hit one of two free throws with 40 seconds remaining to push the Rivercrest lead to two points. Taylor Teague worked her way inside on a drive for the Lady Lions, but an unkind roll saw the ball slide off the iron, giving possession back to the Lady Colts. Brown made three of four at the line down the stretch, setting the final tally in place.
The Lady Lions utilized outside shooting on the night. Manila hit six triples in the fourth, scoring all of their points from deep in the frame.
The Lady Colts controlled the glass throughout the night, supplanting Manila's size advantage with quickness underneath. The extra opportunities granted by offensive rebounding allowed Rivercrest to expand their lead during critical stretches.
"They just whipped us on the boards," Manila coach Jeff Priest said. "That was a concern for us coming into tonight. The game came down to boards.
"We got beat by a good team," Priest added. "As bad as it hurts, we've got nothing to hang our head about. We worked hard and gave ourselves opportunities to win the game. Losing a tough one like this puts a fire in your belly. Hopefully, we can use that going forward."
Adcock paced the Lady Lions with 11 points on the night, including three treys. Teague chipped in 10 points, burying two triples. Also scoring for Manila were Shelton 9, Emily Cook 6, Wallace 5, Burrow 5 and Wise 5.
Brown paced Rivercrest with 18 in the win.
The Lady Lions finished second in 3A-3 regular conference action in addition to claiming second in the district tournament. Manila will advance to the regional tournament at Flippin. Manila is set to face host Flippin beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday. A win would advance the Lady Lions to the semifinals at 4 p.m. Friday with either Mountain View or Corning. Reaching the semifinals would also qualify the Lady Lions for the state tournament. The regional finals will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25. The third place contest will begin at 12 p.m. Saturday.