Colts win 3A-3 showdown over Manila before overflow crowd
Certain sporting events hold an air of electricity. Monday night's 3A-3 conference showdown between Manila and Rivercrest proved to be one of those. The Lions and Colts waged battle for a piece of the league title with the crowd so loud at times that coaches, players and officials had trouble communicating. In the end, it was Rivercrest who came out on top with a share of the championship, winning a hard fought 71-63 duel before an overflow capacity in the Lions' Den.
Manila grabbed an early 7-4 lead, thanks to a Thomas Davis trey and a pair of Scott Eubanks buckets. But the Colts fought back and took a 14-10 lead after the first break, behind the play of senior guard Kani Turner.
Eubanks and Caleb Reinhart led a Lion charge to produce a 20-20 tie with 4:35 left in the half. Reinhart scored Manila's first five points of the quarter before Eubanks hit back to back buckets to square the game. But the Colts answered, closing the half with a 10-3 run, capped off by DaJhon Thomas' lay-in just before the halftime buzzer, giving Rivercrest a 30-23 lead at intermission.
The Colts came out smoking to begin the third period, and threatened to blow the game open, building a 13 point lead on two different occasions, the last coming on a bucket by Thai Harris at the 4:21 mark, giving Rivercrest a 42-29 advantage.
Manila stormed back, scoring nine straight points to slice the Colt lead to 42-38 with 2:09 left in the quarter. But a three point play by Harris, followed by a Marquez Chew basket, upped the Rivercrest lead to 47-38 at the 1:22 mark. The Colts ended the period ahead 49-42.
Rivercrest maintained its lead through the early part of the final quarter and took a 58-50 advantage with 4:39 to go on a driving lay-in from Kahlil Williams. The Lions put together one last surge, scoring six unanswered points. Eubanks connected on an offensive rebound and followed with another inside bucket before Kyle Joyner's five foot floater cut the Colt lead to 58-56 with 3:14 left in the game.
Manila put together a defensive stop on the Colts' next possession, and had at least three opportunities at the tying basket. The ball was slapped toward mid court after the Lions' third misfire at knotting the score. Chew scooped up the loose ball and raced for a breakaway score, giving the Colts a 60-56 edge with 2:43 remaining.
The Lions would get no closer than four points the rest of the way, as Rivercrest connected on 5-6 free throws down the stretch, followed by Chew's one handed slam that punctuated the Colt victory.
"You can't fault our effort, our effort is always there," said Lion Coach Lee Wimberley. "Bottom line is we just didn't make enough shots. I thought Scott Eubanks played very well. He was just a beast. We just couldn't make a shot when we needed to."
Eubanks finished the night with 23 points while Zac Riley was next with 17. Reinhart also hit double digits, scoring 11 points. Davis and Joyner contributed five points apiece while Kyler Williams added two. The Lions hit 19-28 foul shots but managed just one three pointer on the night.
Chew scored a game high 26 points to top the Colts. Harris and Williams added 13 and 11 points respectively. Rivercrest connected on 12-16 free throws and drained a pair of triples.
In junior high action, Manila claimed a thrilling 59-56 overtime win over the Colts. The Lions held a 12-3 lead after the opening quarter and took a 24-18 advantage into the dressing room at the half. Manila led 36-30 entering the final frame before watching the Colts rally to tie the score 49-49 at the end of regulation. Manila outscored Rivercrest 9-6 in the extra period to pull out the win.
Brady Woodall scored a game high 21 points to lead Manila. Miles Gifford pitched in 15 while Logan Hamtilton added 10. Matthew May tallied eight, Tyler Johnson contributed three while Patrick Tanner netted two points to round out the Lion attack.
Grayson Scribner led the Colts with 17 points while Bruce Parker added 11.