Cold shooting performance dooms Lady Lions in state tournament

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Lady Lion defenders Emily Cook (10), Charlie Smith (32) and Kailen Shelton (25) attempt to deny a Paris basket in Class 3A State Tournament action Friday afternoon.

Manila saw one of its most successful seasons end on a disappointing note when the Lady Lions fell in the first round of the Class 3A State Tournament to Paris Friday afternoon at Charleston. Manila, who finished the year 27-6 with three tournament championships and a conference title in tow, dropped a 47-39 decision to the Lady Eagles, due mainly to an uncharacteristically horrid first half shooting performance that saw the Lady Lions hit just 3-21 field goal attempts, including an unfathomable 0-12 from beyond the three point arc.

Paris led 8-3 with 3:05 left in the first quarter before a pair of Emily Cook buckets pulled Manila to within 8-7 entering the second stanza. The second period was one to forget for the Lady Lions, who failed to connect from the field and got points only on a pair of senior point guard Taylor Teague free throws with 1:14 left before half. Meanwhile, Paris extended its lead behind the one-two scoring punch of 6'1" freshman Lycia Peevy and senior guard Christa Huber. Peevy began a 9-0 Lady Eagle run with an inside bucket, before Huber pitched in a five-foot hook shot, followed by a long three pointer. Two free throws each by the Lady Eagle duo gave Paris a 20-9 halftime advantage.

Manila roared back in the third quarter behind seniors Emily Cook and Kirsten Adcock. Cook jump started the Lady Lions, connecting on a short jumper before burying a three pointer from the top of the key to slice the Lady Eagle lead to 20-14 at the 5:29 mark. Peevy answered with a 12-foot jumper of her own, but Cook scored again with a drive to the hoop, and when Kailen Shelton found a crease for another inside bucket, Manila had sliced the Paris lead to 22-18 at the 3:52 mark.

Senior Kirsten Adcock (15) defends Lady Eagle Lycia Peevy while Manila teammate Emily Cook (10) looks on Friday afternoon in the first round of the Class 3A State Tournament in Charleston.

Huber and Peevy plowed their way for a pair of inside buckets to push the Paris lead to 26-18 before Adcock drilled a long trey to cut the lead to 26-21 with 2:08 left in the quarter. Peevy found daylight on the inside for another bucket to give the Lady Eagles a 28-21 advantage before Adcock's second consecutive long range bomb pulled the Lady Lions to within 28-24 entering the final frame.

Manila had Lady Lion fans on their feet early in the fourth quarter, tying the game 28-28 when Teague hit a running one-hand floater, followed by an eight foot scoop shot off the right hand of Cook with 6:51 to go. The Lady Lions looked poised to take their first lead of the game when Deven Burrow drove hard to the basket off the fast break, but the senior forward's twisting floater just inside the free throw line rimmed in and out of the goal.

Huber drove the baseline to give the Lady Eagles the lead for good, 30-28, with 6:07 left. The Lady Lions went ice cold once again, failing to score over the next five minutes until Cook broke the drought with a basket at the 1:56 mark to pull Manila to within 34-30. But forced to foul, Manila watched Paris connect on 17-22 free throws down the stretch to pull away for the victory and a ticket to the second round of state tournament play.

Manila's Taylor Teague drives past Lady Eagle Morgan Highfield Friday afternoon in Class 3A State Tournament play at Charleston High School.

Cook was the only Lady Lion in double figures, ending her career with 17 points. Adcock finished with nine points, all on three pointers, while Teague scored seven. Shelton had four while Burrow chipped in two points to round out the Manila offense on the day. The Lady Lions went to the foul line just six times and connected on three. Manila drained four three pointers, all in the second half.

Huber and Peevy shared scoring honors for Paris with 18 points apiece. The Lady Eagles made 23-31 foul shots and hit a pair of three pointers.

"We had good shots but we just couldn't get the ball to go down," said Manila Coach Mark Manchester. "There just seemed to be a lid on the basket. I guess there could have been a little bit of nerves, being the first round of the state tournament. I felt like we were in a good state of mind going in, but for whatever reason we just didn't play well. You can't win a state tournament shooting as poorly as we did today."

"I am really proud of this team and all of their accomplishments," Manchester said. "I believe this is as good a two-year run as any in Lady Lion history. We had 50 wins over the last two seasons, winning two straight conference titles, a district championship and an NEA crown. In addition this year we beat four other regional champions a total of seven times, only once on our home floor. That's a remarkable accomplishment. I really believe these girls accomplished an awful lot under great expectations. I think they lived up to them pretty good."

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