Raiders scalp Lions 67-37 in NEA quarterfinals

Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Manila's Lions prepare to take on Nettleton Thursday night in quarterfinal action of the 70th annual NEA Tournament in Jonesboro.
Lion junior Conner Belew flips in two points in NEA Tournament action Thursday night at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro.

Manila saw its NEA Tournament title hopes dashed as 5A powerhouse Nettleton rolled over the Lions 67-37 in quarterfinal action Thursday night at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro.

The talented Raiders jumped on top 23-6 after the first quarter behind the one-two scoring punch of Malik Anderson and Jarquavius Cain, who combined for 17 first period points. Manila began the second quarter knocking down three consecutive treys, all by different players. Brock Birmingham, Joel Burrow and Conner Belew all connected from beyond the three point arc to slice the Raider lead to 25-17 midway through the second stanza. But the Raiders closed the half out strong, getting back to back triples from Anderson and Jeff Adams, who busted a trey at the buzzer, to send Nettleton into the dressing room with a commanding 37-22 advantage.

Nettleton outscored the Lions 16-6 in the third period, thanks to nine points from junior guard Kortez Hamilton to carry a 53-28 lead into the final frame. The Raiders went up by 30 on a Julius Jones bucket at the 5:36 mark and coasted into the tournament semifinals.

Anderson pumped in a game high 25 points to pace the Raiders. Nettleton hit just four of 12 free throws but drained seven three pointers.

Burrow led Manila with 12. Birmingham scored eight, Matthew May netted six, Belew and Dalton Hitchcock tallied five points each, while Jeremiah May pitched in one point. The Lions were six of 13 from the line and downed five treys.

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