Cold shooting night dooms Lions in state tourney

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Manila sophomore Matthew May splits the Prescott defense during first round action of the Class 3A State Tournament March 3 at Cossatot River High School. The fourth seeded Curley Wolves upset the number one seeded Lions 49-39. (Town Crier photos/Trent Fletcher)

Prescott 49, Manila 39

Manila picked a bad night to post its worst shooting performance of the year, and it cost them dearly in a 49-39 first round loss to Prescott in the Class 3A State Tournament Tuesday at Cossatot River High School.

The Lions shot a miserable 7-30 on three point attempts and made only five two point field goals on the evening. The Curley Wolves used a sagging two-three zone defense that flustered Manila throughout the game.

Manila junior Jake Helton looks for help during the Lion's 49-39 loss to Prescott in first round action of the Class 3A State Tournament Tuesday at Cossatot River High School.

"It was just a bad night," said Lion Coach Lee Wimberley. "It was the worst shooting performance we've had all year. We tried to attack the high post and the soft spots, but we just couldn't get it done and we couldn't get anything to fall. The bottom line is when you can't hit the outside shot the other team packs it in, which makes it tough to get the ball in the middle. We just picked the wrong night to be off with our shooting. When you can't put the ball in the hole, you aren't going to win."

Senior guard Caleb Reinhart carried the offensive load for Manila in the opening period, scoring all 12 Lion points, but the Curley Wolves still managed a 14-12 edge after the first break behind the strong inside play of 6'3" post players Ricardo Roberts and RonDarius Cone.

Burch Milano came off the bench and drilled a three pointer, followed by a driving lay-in by freshman Bradey Woodall, giving Manila a 17-16 lead with 6:25 left in the half. Neither team could score over the next three minutes, until Seth Grissom dropped in a free throw at the 3:36 mark to up the Lion lead to 18-16.

Prescott battled back and scored the last five points of the half, capped off by a Roberts bucket at the 1:21 mark, giving the Curley Wolves a 21-18 advantage at intermission.

Thomas Davis banged home a three to begin the second half, drawing Manila even at 21-all. But Prescott hit Manila with a staggering 10-0 run to take a 31-21 lead with 4:15 left in the third period. Khaalid Stewart started the Curley Wolves rally and closed the Prescott scoring surve with an eight-footer.

Matthew May threw in a short jumper to end the Manila scoring drought at the 3:58 mark, and followed with a three pointer from the top of the key as the Lions closed to within 33-28 at the 1:43 mark. May ripped his second trey of the period with 53 seconds remaining, but Brandon Walker's 10-footer at the buzzer sent the Curley Wolves into the final stanza with a 38-31 advantage.

Reinhart began the fourth quarter with a free throw to slice the Prescott lead to six, but that was as close as Manila could get. Despite holding the Curley Wolves without a field goal in the final frame, Prescott maintained its lead by hitting 11-19 free throw attempts as the Lions, playing catch up, were forced to foul.

Lion senior center Seth Grissom is surrounded by a trio of Curley Wolves defenders in Tuesday night's 3A State Tournament matchup at Cossatot River High School

"I am amazed by this group of kids and what they have accomplished this year," said Wimberley. "I just don't have words to describe my feelings. When I came here three years ago these seniors were sophomores. I had never been a head coach before but they bought in to what I was teaching. When you look back over the last three years and see what they've done, winning two regional championships and a district crown, they did this despite being told they weren't big enough, strong enough or good enough. They just said we will show you, and they did. I can't describe my gratitude for what they have done for me and my family. They are my boys and my family," Wimberley concluded.

Reinhart finished his Lion career with a team high 15 points. May scored eight, Davis had six, Woodall tallied four while Grissom and Milano chipped in three points apiece.

Roberts paced the Curley Wolves with a game high 16 points. Stewart and Kyle Munn pitched in 10 points each.

Senior guard Caleb Reinhart drives for two of his team high 15 points. The Lions dropped a 49-39 decision to Prescott in the first round of the 3A State Tournament.
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