Blazers subdue Lions to claim Gerald Jennings Tournament title
Valley View used its superior height advantage to fend off a determined Manila team en route to the 2014 Gerald Jennings Tournament championship, defeating the host Lions 75-58 Saturday night at the Lions' Den.
Manila took a 12-9 lead after the opening quarter, thanks to back to back three pointers from seniors Caleb Reinhart and Thomas Davis. The Lions still held a three point advantage midway through the second period, but the Blazers took the lead by making nine of 14 charity tosses to grab a 29-24 halftime advantage.
Valley View stretched its lead to 10 points early in the third quarter, before watching the Lions battle back to pull within three at the 3:56 mark. Reinhart's three point play, an offensive stick-back by Jake Helton, followed by consecutive triples from Davis, sliced the Blazer lead to 38-35.
But the rest of the quarter belonged to Valley View. Adam Horn began a 17-3 Blazer run by burying consecutive treys. Will Huber's bucket in the paint ahead of a three pointer by Matt Owens stretched the Blazer lead to 15. Owens and Ben Mullen sank free throws to close the quarter with Valley View ahead comfortably 55-38.
Matthew May and Reinhart combined for 14 points in the closing period, but it wasn't enough as the Blazers held on to capture the tournament championship.
Alexander Gorton and Horn led Valley View with 19 points apiece, despite both playing the second half with foul problems. Owens finished the night with 14 points. The Blazers were able to control the paint and worked their way to the free throw line for 37 attempts, connecting on 24. Valley View finished with six three pointers on the evening.
Reinhart led Manila with a game high 21 points. Davis scored 16 while May finished with 12. Kyle Joyner tallied four, Helton had three while Timmy Smith chipped in two points. The Lions struggled at the line, hitting just 13-26 attempts while connecting on five three pointers.
Manila traveled to Blytheville Friday night for a nonconference match-up with the Chickasaws, dropping a 58-45 decision. Blytheville led 15-11 after the first quarter, 28-21 at the half and 37-32 after three periods of play.
Reinhart topped Manila with 12 points. Seth Grissom scored eight while Davis and Erik Navarro chipped in seven points apiece. Joyner netted five while May, Patrick Tanner and Smith pitched in two points each.
In junior high action, Blytheville nipped Manila 46-45. The Lions led 11-8 after the first quarter and stretched their lead to 23-16 at the half. Blytheville battled back in the third period, outscoring Manila 16-8 to take a 32-31 edge into the final frame.
Logan Hamilton pumped in a game high 24 points to lead the Lions while Dalton Hitchcock added 12. Joel Burrow and Brock Birmingham scored four points apiece while Chris Carruth added one point.
Manila returns to action Tuesday night, traveling to Hoxie for a 3A-3 conference matchup with the Mustangs. The Lions will close the week Friday night with another conference clash against Corning at home.
In senior girls action, Kennett, Mo., outlasted Manila 42-36. Heidi Shetley led Kennett with 20 points.
Taylor Harmon topped Manila with 20. Jordyn Wheeler scored eight, Hannah Teague tallied five while Heather Hollis added three points.
Kennett led 10-3 after the first quarter and 17-14 at the half. Manila claimed a 24-22 edge heading into the final period.
The Lady Lions return to action Monday night when they play host to Hoxie in a 3A-3 conference tilt. Manila will travel to Corning Thursday night for another league battle.