Big fourth quarter propels Seminoles past Lions 65-56
Manila and Osceola entered Friday night's 3A-3 showdown with first place in the league on the line. The Lions won the battle for the first three quarters before the host Seminoles fought back in the pivotal fourth period to post a stirring 65-56 come from behind victory before a raucous crowd in Seminole Gymnasium.
Manila held a 16-10 lead after the first quarter behind Bradey Woodall's eight points. Osceola battled back in the second period and took a 22-19 lead on a pair of free throws by Steveion Fowler with 4:00 left in the half. But consecutive treys from Joel Burrow and Woodall put the Lions back on top, 25-22. Manila held a 27-26 edge at intermission with the help of Osceola's inability to hit free throws. The Seminoles made just six of 18 charity tosses in the first two quarters of play and finished a miserable 15-37 for the game.
The Lions led throughout the third quarter behind the scoring of Woodall and a strong performance off the bench by sophomore Logan Hamilton, who put in back to back offensive stick-ins to close out the period, helping Manila to a 44-39 advantage entering the final frame.
Manila increased its lead to 46-39 early in the fourth quarter on Hamilton's third straight offensive stick-back. Durrell Brown scored on a tip-in for Osceola's first points of the period to close the gap to five. Burrow sank a free throw with 6:52 left to put Manila back up 47-41, but the Seminoles cranked up the defensive pressure and reeled off eight straight points to grab a 49-47 lead with 5:58 showing on the clock.
Manila got even when Woodall sliced through the Seminole defense and dropped in a five foot floater. The Lions took their last lead of the night, 52-49, on Conner Balew's long three pointer with 5:07 left. Brown knotted the game once again, nailing a free throw, followed by a steal and a driving lay-in at the 4:20 mark. The Seminoles forced another turnover and capitalized when Jamie Anderson flipped in a bucket off the glass and was fouled. Anderson added the "and one" and Osceola had the lead for good, 55-52, with 3:53 left to play.
Back to back monster slams by 6'8" Darion Gilmore extended Osceola's lead to 59-54 with 2:31 to go. The Seminoles finished the game off from the foul line while improving to a perfect 3-0 in league play.
"We have to play smarter than we did tonight," said Lion Coach Lee Wimberley. "We fouled way too much and you can't do that for four quarters. Matthew May is our leader and it hurt when he fouled out early in the fourth quarter. We are a young team but that's not an excuse anymore. It's time for our kids to grow up if we want to be a good team. I did think Logan Hamilton played a great game off the bench. I thought Conner Belew played well too. Bradey Woodall had another great game, but teams are beginning to figure out he can score, so we need someone else to step up and take some pressure off him. But the bottom line is we have to make plays in the fourth quarter and tonight we didn't do it."
Manila (11-4, 2-1 3A-3) got a game high 26 points from Woodall, who bagged four three pointers on the night. Hamilton scored eight, Matthew May, who fouled out early in the fourth quarter, finished with seven, Balew had six, Burrow and Jake Helton tallied four points apiece while Marcos Flores added one point. Manila connected on 17-26 foul shots and banged home six three pointers.The Lions forced 24 Osceola turnovers, but committed 21 of their own.
Brown led the Seminoles with 20 points while Anderson and Gilmore chipped in 13 and 11 points respectively.
In junior high action, Osceola outscored Manila 62-47. Micha Caruthers led the Seminoles with 22 points while Marlon Lance added 11.
Abraham Lopez paced Manila with 22 points while Brock Birmingham added 15. Lane Sims and Ethan Navarro chipped in four points apiece.
The Lions began the week with a 66-62 victory over Armorel Tuesday night. Woodall topped the Lions with 20 points while Burrow and Helton pitched in 15 and 14 points respectively. Matthew May scored nine while Balew and Burch Milano added four points apiece. Manila finished 30-37 from the foul line.
Nash Winters scored a game high 29 points to lead the Tigers. Neiko Sorrentino netted 12 while Monroe Carr added 11.
In junior boys action, Manila thrashed Armorel 45-10. Lopez led the Lions with 16 while Birmingham added 14. Sims scored six, Trenton Thomas netted three while Michael Parker, Emery Garrett and Greg Patterson pitched in two points apiece.
Manila returns to action Tuesday night, hosting Piggott in a 3A-3 conference matchup. The Lions close the week with a road trip Friday night to Rivercrest.
The Lady Lions dropped a 49-44 decision Thursday night to Osceola. Manila led 10-7 after the first period but fell behind 20-17 at the half. The Lady Seminoles took a 34-31 edge into the fourth quarter.
Akeyla Barksdale scored a game high 22 points to lead Osceola while Jimmyiah Allen added 15.
Taylor Harmon paced the Lady Lions with 15 points while Lauren Woody and Hannah Teague added 10 points apiece.
Osceola slipped past Manila 40-38 in the junior high game.
The Lady Lions travel to Piggott Monday night before playing host to Rivercrest on Thursday.