Lions claim 3A-3 Conference championship with win over Colts
Manila's 54-51 victory over Rivercrest Friday night, combined with Piggott's upset win at Osceola, gave the Lions the outright 3A-3 conference championship and the number one seed in the upcoming district tournament.
Manila fell behind 8-7 after the opening quarter in their win over the Colts, but battled back to take a 27-24 edge at intermission. The Lions increased their lead to 43-33 entering the fourth quarter, but had to stave off a last minute Rivercrest comeback to secure the victory.
"I am very proud of these young men," said Head Coach Lee Wimberley. "They fought through sickness and injury and found a way to win."
Matthew May pumped in a game high 20 points while Bradey Woodall added 15 more to pace the Lion offensive attack. Burch Milano drained three treys in the pivotal second period and finished with nine points on the night. Jake Helton and Marcos Flores pitched in four points each while Conner Balew chipped in two points. The Lions connected on 14-18 foul shots and drilled six three pointers.
Lamond Hollins topped the Colts with 14 points, Carl Miller scored 12 while Torian Turner delivered 10 points. Rivercrest hit just nine of 26 free throws and made two treys.
The Lions also took the junior high contest 40-31. Brock Birmingham paced Manila with 17 points while Trenton Thomas chipped in 11. Abraham Lopez scored eight while Lane Sims and Brian Gonzalez added two points apiece.
Manila began the week with a 65-46 win on the road at Piggott. The host Mohawks held a 13-10 advantage after the first break before the Lions rallied to take a 29-19 lead at the half. Manila led 41-31 entering the final frame.
Matthew May led the Lions with 22 points, Woodall scored 17 while Helton netted 10. Jeremiah May had seven, Balew tallied five while Dylan Carruth pitched in four. Manila connected on 13-16 charity tosses and dropped in four three pointers.
Brayden Brewer paced the Mohawks with 14 while Mick Harris added nine points.
Manila rolled in the junior high contest 58-33. Lopez and Thomas led the Lions with 12 points apiece. Birmingham scored eight, Sims, Perez and Gonzalez tallied six points each while Daley Balew, Michael Parker, Emery Garrett and Kason Grissom all added two points apiece. Michael Palmer led Piggott with 14 points.
Manila (19-4, 9-1 3A-3) will close out its regular season with a pair of nonconference games beginning Tuesday night against Riverside at home. The Lions will end the week with a road trip to Buffalo Island Central Friday night. The Junior Lions (19-3, 8-2 3A-3) will enter this week's 3A-3 District Tournament at Corning as the number two seed.
In girls action, Manila fell to Hoxie 65-54 Wednesday night at Lion Gym before dropping a 69-37 decision to Rivercrest Thursday night at Wilson.
Sydney Gillham pumped in 20 points and snared 16 rebounds to help Hoxie clinch a share of the conference championship. Devyn Pollard finished with 15 points while Krista Van Kirk added 11.
Taylor Harmon and Hannah Teague topped the Lady Lions with 13 points apiece while Jordyn Wheeler and Hannah McQueen chipped in 10 points each.
Manila took the junior high game 44-37.
Jordan Elder scored 21 points and dished out nine assists in Rivercrest's win over the Lady Lions. Kayla Jarrett added 19 more. Harmon, McQueen and Teague all scored six points apiece to lead Manila.
Rivercrest claimed the junior high matchup 34-24.
The Lady Lions will play host to Riverside Monday night before closing out the regular season Thursday night against Buffalo Island Central at Monette. The Junior Lady Lions will play in this week's 3A-3 district tournament at Corning.