Osceola smothers Lions 60-38 in junior high district finals
Osceola used a smothering defense, forcing numerous Manila miscues, propelling the host Seminoles to a 60-38 victory Saturday afternoon in the finals of the 3A-3 Junior High District Tournament.
The Seminoles disrupted the Manila offense from the outset, causing eight first period turnovers, as the regular season conference champs bolted to a 21-7 lead after the opening quarter of play. Jonathan Stevenson and Maki Caruthers combined for 19 of the 21 Osceola first period points, with each player draining two treys apiece. Manila's Logan Hamilton tried to keep the Lions in the game, scoring six first quarter points.
Osceola continued to turn up the heat in the second period defensively, and outscored Manila 13-9 to take a 34-16 advantage into the dressing room at the half.
The Seminoles put the game out of reach in the third quarter, sparked by Caruthers, who scored eight third period points, helping Osceola take an overwhelming 54-25 lead into the final frame.
Manila outscored the Seminoles 13-6 in the final quarter behind the outside shooting of Joel Burrow, who buried a pair of three pointers while scoring eight points during the quarter. But it was too little, too late for the Lions, who watched the Seminoles celebrate their district title while claiming their third victory over Manila this season.
Caruthers led the Seminoles with 17 points while Stevenson pitched in 16 more. Osceola finished 12-15 from the foul line and drilled five three pointers on the day.
Hamilton paced Manila with 12 points while Burrow added 11. Dalton Hitchcock scored six, Bradey Woodall had five while Dylon Carruth chipped in four points to round out the Lion scoring on the afternoon. Manila connected on 7-15 free throws and knocked down three treys.
The Lions reached the finals with a 52-44 victory Thursday night over Rivercrest. Manila held an 11-10 edge after the first break, but outscored the Colts 24-4 in the second stanza for what appeared to be a safe 35-14 advantage at the half.
The Colts began to whittle away at the Lion lead in the third period, using a full court press, which forced eight Manila turnovers. By the end of the quarter, Rivercrest had narrowed the gap to 42-28.
Rivercrest continued to fight back in the fourth period behind Manny Williams, who scored nine consecutive points to help the Colts slice the Lion lead to 46-40 with 2:00 to go. An offensive stick-back by Williams and a steal and lay-in from Kentavious Robinson cut the Manila advantage to 46-44 at the 56 second mark.
Bradey Woodall, who scored a game high 22 points, hit the front end of a one and one with 30 seconds remaining to increase Manila's lead to 47-44. An intentional foul by Rivercrest nine seconds later put Woodall back at the line, where the freshman guard sank both shots for a 49-44 Lion lead, and the Colts never recovered.
Joining Woodall in double figures for Manila was Logan Hamilton, who scored 12 points. Joel Burrow, Dylon Carruth and Brock Birmingham all added six points apiece.
Williams led RIvercrest with 17 points while Robinson chipped in 14.