Lions declaw Trumann Wildcats 65-63 in NEA Tournament
Trumann used a stingy defense to limit Manila's high scoring duo of Brady Jones and Scott Eubanks to a combined 23 points, but a strong performance by the rest of the Lions, led by Dylan Bogle, propelled Manila past the stubborn Wildcats 65-63 in NEA Tournament action Dec. 21 at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro.
The Wildcats double teamed Jones at every opportunity, forcing the senior guard into a subpar shooting night, while Eubanks was hampered by foul trouble much of the game. Meanwhile, the Wildcats rode the hot hand of A.J. Winningham, who drilled six three pointers on his way to a 25 point performance, while teammate Cameron Jones pumped in 21 more to keep Trumann close throughout the game.
Manila answered behind the strong inside play of Bogle, who scored 13 points and was a warrior on the boards, along with Zac Riley, who came off the bench to provide a strong inside presence down the stretch, as well as Caleb Reinhart, who hit clutch shots in the fourth quarter.
Manila held a 17-13 lead after the first quarter, but watched the Wildcats claw their way back to tie the score 31-31 heading into the dressing room at the half. Manila had built a 25-17 advantage, thanks to back to back treys from Reinhart and Thomas Davis. But Trumann came roaring back, outscoring the Lions 12-4 to tie the game at intermission.
Eubanks began the third quarter with a conventional three point play before Winningham answered with a three. Brady Jones hit a 10-foot jumper, was fouled and completed another three point play, putting the Lions up once again. But Winningham drilled yet another trey to tie the score 37-37. Reinhart broke the tie with a long three with 4:31 left in the quarter, but Trumann finished the period on a 9-2 run to take a 48-44 lead into the final frame. Cameron Jones ignited the Wildcat surge, scoring the last six points of the period.
Manila battled back early in the fourth quarter, tying the game 49-49 on a 12-foot jumper by Brady Jones with 5:35 left. Bogle came up with a big offensive stick-back at the 4:35 mark, giving Manila a 51-49 edge. But the Lions lost Eubanks seconds later when the junior forward picked up his fifth foul. Winningham drilled yet another three with 3:51 left, giving Trumann their last lead of the night, 54-53. The Lions evened the score on a Riley free throw at the 2:43 mark, and took the lead for good when Bogle pulled down an offensive board and scored in traffic, giving the Lions a 56-54 lead with 2:13 left in the game.
Manila used key free throws by Reinhart, Riley and Jones to secure the win, and advance to the tournament's quarterfinals.
Jones led Manila with 14 points while Bogle also hit double digits, scoring 13. Eubanks, Reinhart and Riley scored nine points apiece. Dustin Sirmon scored six, Davis had three while Kyle Joyner chipped in two points. Manila connected on 13-21 foul shots and hit five three pointers on the night.
The Lions forced Trumann into 15 turnovers. Manila finished six of 14 from the foul line and made seven treys on the evening.