Lady Lions punch State Tournament ticket with overtime victory
Manila finally broke its long state tournament drought in girls basketball with a heart thumping 65-62 overtime victory over Valley Springs Friday night in the first round of the Class 3A-Region 3 tournament at Hoxie.
The third seeded Lady Lions looked to be in trouble early, falling behind 18-9 after the first period. The Lady Tigers upped their lead to 25-14 midway through the second stanza, before Manila went on a 14-0 run, capped off by Emily Cook's three pointer to take a 28-25 lead with 2:00 left in the half. The Lady Lions took a 31-30 edge into the dressing room at intermission.
Manila appeared to be on the verge of blowing the game open, going on a 10-0 run to start the third quarter. Shelby Wallace began the Lady Lion spurt with a driving layup, and Devin Burrow capped off the run with a 10-foot jumper with 4:09 left in the period to give Manila a 41-30 lead. But the Lady Lions went cold the rest of the quarter, getting just a single free throw from Cook to take a 42-37 advantage into the final frame.
Valley Springs stormed back early in the fourth period, and took the lead 44-42 when Payton Tennison buried a three pointer. Burrow and Wallace hit free throws to tie the game 44-44 with 6:00 left. The two teams traded baskets over the 4:00 until Cook, who led Manila with 31 points, sank one of two free throws at the 1:51 mark to give Manila a 53-52 edge. Whitney Scott tied the game, hitting the first of two free throws with 1:34 remaining, but misfired on her second attempt. Valley Springs grabbed the rebound and Lady Tiger Alexandra Simmons was fouled at the 1:14 mark. Simmons hit one of two free throws to give Valley Springs a 54-53 lead. A Manila turnover gave the Lady Tigers possession, and with 1:04 left, Simmons was fouled and went back to the line. The junior guard sank both ends of the double bonus, giving Valley Springs a 56-53 edge.
In what may go down as one of the biggest plays for the Lady Lions this season, Burrow drove the baseline, scored and was fouled. The junior forward calmly sank her free throw to complete the three point play, tying the game at 56-56 with 43 seconds remaining. Both teams had an opportunity in the waning seconds to grab the win, but neither team could convert, sending the contest into overtime.
Taylor Teague's free throw with 3:37 left in the extra period put Manila on top for good, 57-56. Burrow followed with a pair of foul shots to push the Lady Lion lead to three, before Ashton Harner drilled a 15-foot jumper to slice the Manila advantage to 59-58 with 2:30 left.
Kirsten Adcock pulled down a key offensive rebound at the 1:09 mark, and stuck it back in for two to push the Lady Lion lead back to 61-58. Cook followed with a steal and a driving lay-up for a five point lead at the 37 second mark, and the Lady Lions had secured their elusive state tournament berth.
"What a game by our kids," said Manila coach Mark Manchester, who had been drenched with water by his team. "It was an unbelievable performance. They played so hard and with so much pressure. Valley Springs had us on the ropes and gasping for our last breath of air in the first half. Lauren Woody comes in as a freshman and gives us a lift and everybody picked up on it. We attacked the basket all night, and I thought that was a big key. Emily Cook and Devin Burrow both did a great job of taking the ball to the hole. Kirsten Adcock played well and we got the ball inside to Shelby Wallace in the second half and she came up with some big baskets. I am just so proud of all the kids. I know what this win means to these fans at Manila and we wanted to give it to them. The play by Burrow at the end of regulation was just huge. It was a great basketball play. I can't describe to you how big a play that was. But it was just one of many every kid made. It was just a great day," said an ecstatic Manchester.
Burrow joined Cook in double figures with 14 points. Wallace netted nine, Adcock scored five, Taylor Teague tallied three, Kristen Wise contributed two while Woody added one point. Manila hit 21-36 free throws and made two three pointers on the night.
Tennison led Valley Springs with 19 points. Harner scored 13, Simmons tallied 12 while Scott added 11. The Lady Tigers connected on 19-30 foul shots and hit three treys on the evening.
Manila came out flat in their semifinal matchup with Rivercrest, dropping a 69-34 decision to the Lady Colts.
Rivercrest held a 12-9 lead after the first quarter, despite seven points from Emily Cook. Devin Burrow's three pointer early in the second period pulled Manila to within 14-12, but the Lady Colts went on a 19-7 run to take a 33-19 lead into the dressing room at the half.
The third quarter belonged to the Lady Colts, who outscored Manila 21-10 to grab a commanding 54-29 advantage after three periods of play.
Taylor Harris led Rivercrest with 24 points while Kelsie Wilson added 13. Damonique Brown and Tianna Smith contributed 10 points apiece.
Cook led Manila with 12 points while Burrow added eight. Adcock scored six, Taylor Harmon added five while Wallace added three points.
Manila played in Monday afternoon's consolation game against Bergman.