Lions punch state tournament ticket
Manila punched its ticket to this week's 3A State Tournament with a convincing 61-43 victory over Valley Springs Thursday night in the 3A Regional Tournament at Lake City.
The Lions held a slim 15-10 lead after the opening stanza but went on a 13-4 run to begin the second period to pull away to a 28-14 advantage. Brock Birmingham's trey just before the halftime horn sounded put Manila on top 32-16 at intermission.
The Lions continued to build on their lead in the third quarter. Birmingham drained another long three to begin the second half and gave Manila its largest lead, 48-25, with another triple with six seconds left in the period. Lawson Jenkins threw in a 40-footer at the buzzer to cut the Lion lead to 20 entering the final frame.
Manila coasted the rest of the way and celebrated a trip to the state tourney in Bald Knob. The Lions placed nine players in the scoring column, led by Joel Burrow who pumped in 19 points. Birmingham tallied 13, while Bradey Woodall chipped in 12. Mathew May scored seven, Jimmy Perez had three, while Dylon Carruth, Jeremiah May, and Brian Gonzalez all netted two points each. Dalton Hitchcock finished with one point. Manila sank 7-17 free throws and dropped in six three pointers.
Jenkins led the Tigers with 15 while Brandon Koch added 11. Valley Springs hit 10-15 foul shots and drilled five treys.
"We played one of our best defensive games of the year," said Lion Coach Lee Wimberley. "We made some shots early and when we do that we are pretty good. But this was a big win getting us back to the state tournament."
Manila hammers Clinton 79-50 in region semi-finals
Manila mercy ruled out manned Clinton 79-50 to advance to the finals of the 3A Regional Tournament Friday night at Lake City.
The Lions fell behind 18-17 after the first quarter but bounced back in the second period, outscoring the Jackets 20-12 to take a 37-30 lead at the half.
The third quarter belonged to the Lions, who put together a 20-2 run to take control of the game 57-32. Manila held a commanding 59-36 lead entering the fourth stanza. The Lions built their advantage to 32 points on a three pointer by Conner Belew with 2:54 left and charged into the finals against Riverside.
Junior guard Bradey Woodall pumped in a game high 22 points to pace the Lions, who put 11 players in the scoring column on the night. Birmingham and freshman Daley Belew joined Woodall in double figures with 14 and 11 points respectively. Matthew May scored eight, Carruth had seven, Burrow netted five, Conner Belew tallied four, Jeremiah May contributed three, while Gonazlez and Abraham Lopez added two points each. Hitchcock pitched in one point. Manila sank 19-24 free throws and popped four treys.
Ty Johnson topped the Yellowjackets with 11 points. Clinton made 6-9 foul shots and hit four triples.