Lions sweep past Brookland in NEA overtime thriller

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Manila outlasted Brookland 56-53 in the first round of the NEA Tournament Saturday night at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro.

The Lions held leads of 13-10, 24-21 and 39-37 through the first three quarters before the Bearcats squared things at 49-all after four periods of play.

Joel Burrow scored a season high 26 points to lead the Lions, who improved to 8-5 on the season. Brock Birmingham netted nine, Matthew May and Jeremiah May contributed seven points apiece, Conner Belew tallied four while Dylan Carruth and Dalton Hitchcock chipped in one point each to round out the Lions scoring attack.

David Ballard paced Brookland with 26 points while Braxton Haff added 18 more.

The Lions kicked off the week dropping a 74-66 decision Tuesday night at Trumann. Manila held a slim 17-16 edge after the first break but watched the Wildcats rally to take a 42-30 advantage at the half. Trumann entered the fourth quarter with a 57-51 lead.

Kelon Booker pumped in a game high 32 points to lead the Wildcats. Aaron Hamilton and Cody Roland tallied 15 points each while Ben Turner added 11.

The Lions also placed four players in double digits, led by Birmingham's 21 point performance. Burrow scored 16, Matthew May and Belew contributed 12 points apiece, Jeremiah May had three while Carruth added two points.

Manila downed Rivercrest 55-49 Friday night at Lion Gym. Matthew May scored a game high 29 points to help propel the Lions. Belew tallied nine, Birmingham and Dalton Hitchcock netted five points each, Jeremiah May contributed four while Burrow added three points.

Demilon Brown topped the Colts with 12 points while Bruce Parker added 11.

In junior high action, Manila stormed past Trumann 47-23. Dally Belew and Austin Harmon led the Lions with 11 points each, Ty Wagner scored nine, Brian Gonzalez had six, Anthony Lopez netted five, Greg Patterson and Emery Garrett scored two points apiece while Connor Jackson chipped in one point.

Manila blasted Rivercrest 47-18. Belew led the junior Lions with 16 points while Harmon added 15. Wagner scored six, Coby Hollis and Kason Grissom tallied three points apiece while Garrett Hart and Connor Milligan pitched in two points each.

Manila returns to the hardcourt Thursday night in the NEA quarterfinals against top seeded Nettleton. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m.

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