Manila picks up key conference victory over Seminoles
Manila led from start to finish over Osceola as the Lions defeated the Seminoles 56-47 in 3A-3 conference action Friday night at Manila. The Seminoles made a second half charge and cut the lead to one, but Brady Jones and Scott Eubanks came up with key buckets while the Lions clamped down defensively when they needed to the most to hold on for a key conference victory.
"This was a big conference win for us, especially early in the season," said Lion Coach Lee Wimberley. "We lost a tough one to Hoxie and we really needed this one at home to get back in the mix of the conference race. I think if we play defense like we did tonight we can be a hard team to beat. I thought our defensive effort was the key to the game. After the Paragould game the other night when we lost on a last second shot, we could have hung our heads. But the kids really came out fighting tonight and I am really proud of them. They are great kids and they work their tails off. Brady (Jones) played an outstanding offensive game. He and Scott (Eubanks) really came up with some big shots down the stretch when we needed them the most."
The Lions jumped to a 14-6 lead after the opening period as Jones scored nine of his game high 34 points to get Manila off to a quick start.
Dustin Sirmon began the second quarter with a three pointer to push the Lion lead to 11 before the Seminoles rallied to pull to within 21-17 with 1:47 left in the half on a Taylin Miller three pointer. Jones answered for the Lions with a conventional three point play, and Eubanks followed with a 15-foot baseline jumper to give Manila a 26-17 halftime lead.
Osceola fought back in the third quarter and cut the Lion lead to 37-34 entering the final frame, thanks to a tenacious defense that forced five Manila turnovers during the period.
Jamal Jackson drilled a three pointer with 5:21 to go to pull the Seminoles to within one before Jones answered with a 15-foot jumper to push the Lion lead to 43-40 with 5:10 left. An offensive stick back by the Seminoles cut the margin back to one, but Eubanks scored on an inbounds play to give Manila a 46-43 lead at the 4:40 mark. Eubanks scored again to push the Lion lead to five. A pair of free throws by Jones, who followed with a 10-footer at the 2:51 mark closed out an 8-0 Lion run, giving Manila a 52-43 lead. Eubanks and Jones combined to hit four consecutive free throws down the stretch to close out the Lion victory.
Eubanks joined Jones in double digits scoring 14 points. Sirmon and Caleb Reinhart tallied three points apiece while Dylan Bogle added two.
Korliss Marshall led Osceola with 12 points.
In junior high action, Manila fell to Osceola 61-21. Jake Helton led the Lions with six points while Miles Gifford added five. Matthew May, Tyler Johnson, Logan Hamilton, Timmy Smith and Rodney Laster added two points apiece to round out the Lion scoring on the night.
Manila will return to action this week when they travel to Armorel to play in the Gerald Jennings Tournament.