Last second shot sinks Lady Lions
Cali Milligan's driving one-handed floater with two seconds left lifted Brookland to a stunning 58-56 victory over the Lady Lions in senior girls action Thursday night at Manila.
Milligan's heroics capped off a stirring fourth quarter rally by the Lady Bearcats, who trailed Manila by six entering the final period of play.
Brookland scored the game's first four points before Manila went on a 16-2 run to take a 10 point lead after the opening quarter. Devon Burrow, Emily Cook and Taylor Teague all drained three pointers to put the Lady Lions in early control.
Cook began the second quarter with another trey to push the Lady Lion lead to 12, but Brookland fought back, slicing the lead to 21-16 on Milligan's conventional three point play midway through the second stanza. Burrow answered the Bearcat rally with a driving lay-up off the break, followed by a Cook bucket to put Manila up 26-16. Haley Morgan nailed a pair of free throws to end the half with Manila up by eight.
Bailey Lovrien completed a three point play to cut the Manila lead to three early in the third period, but back to back treys by Cook pushed the Lady Lions ahead by nine, before the host team settled on a 39-33 lead after three quarters.
Brookland began its comeback midway through the fourth quarter when Menley Long connected on a triple and a pair of free throws. Alexa Thompson nailed a free throw and suddenly the Lady Lion lead was down to four, 47-43, with 4:28 left. Thompson buried a three pointer at the 2:54 mark, and after a free throw by Cook, Thompson scored on a lay-in to slice the Manila advantage to 52-50 with 2:09 to go.
Brookland took its first lead since early in the game when Rachel Gramling canned a three pointer at the 1:32 mark, giving the Lady Bearcats a 53-52 lead. After a Manila miss was rebounded by Brookland, Kailen Shelton came away with a steal and fed Burrow for a driving lay-up, putting Manila back on top 54-53 with 50 seconds left.
Thompson answered, hitting both ends of a double bonus, giving Brookland a one point edge. A Manila turnover led to a Jordan Maynard free throw, pushing the Bearcat led to two, but Shelton's drive to the hole tied the game at 56-56 with 21 seconds left, setting up Milligan's last second game winner.
"It was a tough loss tonight," said Lady Lion Coach Mark Manchester. "We made a lot of mistakes down the stretch. We played with tremendous effort and played as hard as we could play. We had some turnovers that were really unnecessary and really hurt us. We missed nine free throws. To win close games you have to make those free shots. Defensively, I thought we really did a good job in the first half but in the second half, we let them get to the basket too much and we put them on the free throw line. We have to do a better job and we will in the future."
Cook led the Lady Lions with a game high 25 points while Burrow added 13. Teague also hit double digits scoring 12. Shelton netted five while Charlie Smith pitched in one point. Manila finished 17-26 from the foul line and drained seven treys on the night.
Lovrien and Thompson led the Lady Bearcats with 13 points apiece. Brookland hit 20-32 foul shots and made four three pointers, including three in the pivotal fourth quarter.
In junior high action, Brookland defeated Manila 42-25. Taylor Reddick led Brookland with 11 points.
Jordyn Wheeler and Hannah Teague led Manila with eight points apiece. Hannah McQueen scored four, Andi Baker netted three while Jill Helton chipped in two points.
The Lady Lions slipped past Marked Tree 52-45 in their season opener Monday night.
Kirsten Adcock drained five three pointers on her way to a 19 point performance to lead Manila. Deven Burrow added three treys and finished with 11 points. Kailen Shelton scored eight, Emily Cook had seven, Taylor Teague tallied five while Lauren Woody added two. Manila connected on 4-8 free throws and drilled 10 three pointers.
Jay Perry led Marked Tree with 19 points while Lexi Perry added 17. The Lady Indians hit 16-24 free throws and made three treys.
Marked Tree led 14-6 after the first quarter and 28-22 at the half. Manila rallied to take a 38-36 edge into the fourth quarter.
In junior high action, Manila defeated Marked Tree 45-30. Hannah Teague led Manila with 16 points while Jordyn Wheeler added 12. Jordan Tyler scored eight, Shae Kulin had five while Tessa Pannells chipped in four points.
Tullia Tull led Marked Tree with 12 points.
Manila defeated Jessieville 59-54 Saturday afternoon in the Hot Springs Village Lions Club Tip-Off Classic.
The Lady Lions will return to the hard court Monday night, playing host to Osceola in the 3A-3 conference opener. Manila will take on Harrisburg Thursday night at home in another conference matchup.