Seminoles smother Lions to take district title

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Osceola used its superior quickness and relentless pressure en route to a 74-58 victory over Manila in the finals of the 3A-3 District Tournament before an overflow crowd Thursday night at Rivercrest High School.

Manila sophomore Logan Hamilton dives for a loose ball against Rivercrest in district tournament quarterfinal action as teammate Matthew May (2) looks on.

The Seminoles, who led wire to wire, jumped to an 8-0 lead before Bradey Woodall put the Lions on the board with a three pointer at the 2:56 mark of the opening period. Jameion Anderson banked home a tripler from midcourt to close out the first stanza, giving Osceola a 17-7 lead.

The Seminoles continued to put on the pressure with a smothering full court press and built its lead to 36-19 at the half. Manila battled back in the third quarter and pulled to within 38-26 on a Woodall trey at the 5:38 mark, but Osceola outscored the Lions 12-4 to close out the stanza, taking a commanding 50-30 advantage into the final frame.

Woodall scored a game high 19 points to lead Manila while Matthew May chipped in 12. Freshman Brock Birmingham scored eight, Jake Helton and Patrick Tanner contributed six points apiece, Dalton Hitchcock pitched in four while Burch Milano added three points. The Lions struggled from the foul line, hitting just 12-25 attempts, and made only six of 24 three point tries.

Michael Caruthers topped the Seminoles with 13 points, Anderson scored 11 while Dantae Adams added 10 points. Osceola also had trouble at the foul line, making just 10-25 attempts while adding a pair of treys.

Manila began the tournament with a 69-54 semifinal victory Tuesday over Rivercrest. Matthew May and Woodall pumped in 20 points apiece to lead the Lions. The two teams battled to a 12-12 tie after the first break but the Lions took control in the second period to take a 34-24 halftime advantage. Joel Burrow banged in back to back triples to begin the quarter, while Milano and Woodall also bagged three pointers to help Manila to the 10 point lead. The Lions stretched its advantage to 49-36 after three periods of play and put the game away by hitting 16-24 foul shots in the fourth quarter.

Burrow also contributed double digits with 14 points. Helton finished with seven points, Marcos Flores and Milano tallied three points apiece while Birmingham and Connor Balew chipped in one point each. The Lions went to the foul stripe a whopping 42 times and connected on 30. Manila finished with five three pointers, including four in the pivotal second period.

Lamond Hollins led the Colts with 19 points while Carl and Marice Williams added nine points apiece. The Colts managed to hit just 15-30 foul shots on the night.

Manila will enter regional tournament play as a number two seed and will face third seeded Marshall. The 3A-3 Conference Champion Lions, 20-7 on the year, and Marshall, 21-7 and 3A-3 East Conference Co-Champions, will tip off at 5:30 Thursday afternoon at Yellville-Summit High School.

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