Manila advances to district finals with 66-61 victory over Osceola
The third time proved to be the charm for Manila. The Lions had lost their previous two regular season contests with Osceola, relinquishing late leads in each game. Manila was determined that Saturday afternoon's semifinal district tournament matchup against the Seminoles would turn out differently. The Lions put together a total team effort in holding on for a 66-61 victory and a berth in the championship game Monday night against Rivercrest.
Manila held a 20-17 edge after the first break, getting a pair of three pointers from senior guard Thomas Davis as well as another triple from freshman Brady Woodall. Osceola had taken a 4-0 lead to begin the game and led 8-7 after a three pointer by Darius Miller with 4:49 left in the opening quarter. But Matthew May's driving lay-in gave the Lions the lead for good, 9-8.
Manila stretched its advantage to 28-20 midway through the second period as five different Lions scored. The Seminoles battled back behind senior guard Tevin James and pulled to within 31-26 at the 3:27 mark. A Caleb Reinhart bucket, followed by a pair of free throws by the senior guard, pushed the Lion lead back to seven before Terrence Wilson knocked down a three pointer just before the halftime buzzer to slice the Manila lead to 35-31.
The Lions went up by eight in the third quarter on a Davis triple, but the Seminoles fought back and closed to within a point, 47-46, with 1:05 left in the period. Playing for the last shot, Manila missed a three pointer, but Davis tipped the ball in as the third quarter horn sounded, giving the Lions a 49-46 lead.
Manila led by as many as nine points in the final frame and hit just enough free throws down the stretch to close the game out.
Reinhart topped the Lions with 21 points while May and Davis added 16 and 13 respectively. Kyle Joyner scored six, Seth Grissom and Woodall tallied three points apiece while Jake Helton and Burch Milano added two points each. Manila hit 20-33 free throws and drained six three pointers.
James scored a game high 22 to lead Osceola while Wilson added 12. The Seminoles hit just 2-10 foul shots and finished with six three pointers.