Lions grab sole possession of first place in 3A-3 Conference race

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Manila began the 2013-2014 basketball season as the defending 3A-3 conference champions, but most prognosticators pegged Osceola and Rivercrest as this year's league favorites. Not so fast, my friends. With three quarters of the league race complete, it's the defending champion Lions who hold first place, thanks to a three game sweep last week.

Lion Senior Scott Eubanks muscles his way past a group of Corning defenders in the Lions 63-49 victory Tuesday night at Manila.

Manila (16-4, 10-1 3A-3) began the week with a 63-49 victory over Corning Tuesday night at home. The Lions traveled to Osceola Thursday night and came away with a hard fought 79-73 victory that broke a first place tie with the Seminoles, giving Manila sole possession of the league lead. The Lions completed the week with a tough 56-53 win Friday night at Harrisburg.

Scott Eubanks produced a monster night in the Lions' victory over Osceola, scoring 32 points while grabbing 13 rebounds. Eubanks also hit 10 of his 12 free throws on the evening. Manila jumped to a 14-11 lead after the first quarter before falling behind 32-31 at the half. The Lions fought back to take a 52-48 edge heading into the final frame.

Thomas Davis and Caleb Reinhart both pumped in 18 points apiece while Zac Riley pitched in nine. Kyler Williams chipped in two points to aid the Lion cause. Manila hit 24-35 free throws and drained five three pointers.

Manila junior Kyle Joyner fires a baseline jump shot Tuesday night in 3A-3 conference basketball action.

Tamas Bruce led the Seminoles with 31 points while Mark Thomas added 17 more. Osceola sank 17-29 free throws and made four three pointers.

"We played with incredible intensity from the get-go against Osceola," said Lion Coach Lee Wimberley. "Scott Eubanks played probably his best game of the year. Osceola is enormous. They have two 6'7" players inside, yet we outrebounded them. We had three players foul out, but we got good contributions from our bench. Kyler Williams and Seth Grissom both played well. We have some players that just battle and never give up. They just keep fighting. It wasn't pretty but we did what we had to do to win."

Eubanks pumped in 27 points in Manila's 14 point victory over Corning Tuesday night. The senior connected on 10-11 foul shots on the night. Davis drained four three pointers and finished with 16 points while Caleb Reinhart added nine.

Trevor Barajas led the Bobcats with 14 points while J.T. Woods added 12.

The Lions faced a determined Harrisburg team Friday night before coming away with a three point win. The two teams battled to an 11-11 first period tie before the Hornets took a 24-21 lead into halftime. Harrisburg clung to a 39-37 edge entering the final quarter before Manila outscored the Hornets 19-14 in the final frame to pull out the victory.

Eubanks led the Lions with 19 points while Reinhart pitched in 17 more. Alex Nicholson led the Hornets with 18 points while Brayden Honeycutt and Drew Trice followed with 12 points each.

Manila's Miles Gifford jacks a three pointer in Tuesday night's victory over Corning.

In junior high action, Manila defeated Harrisburg 47-39. The junior Lions also downed Corning 55-39. Tyler Johnson led Manila with 14 points while Logan Hamilton and Miles Gifford chipped in 10 points apiece. Bradey Woodall scored seven, Matthew May and Patrick Tanner pitched in six points each while Dylon Carruth added two. Luke Rogers topped Corning with 11 points.

Manila led 16-14 after the first quarter before the Bobcats evened the score 23-23 at halftime. The Lions took control in the third period, pulling ahead 43-33.

Manila dropped a 64-54 decision to the junior Seminoles. The Lions led 18-16 after the first quarter before Osceola rallied to take a 34-28 halftime lead. The Seminoles led 44-38 after three periods of play.

Tyler Johnson and Logan Hamilton led the Lions with 14 points apiece. Bradey Woodall scored nine, Matthew May had eight, Patrick Tanner netted six while Miles Gifford chipped in three points.

Manila will return to action Friday night when they travel to Earle to take on the Bulldogs in a key 3A-3 conference tussle.

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