Lions battle past Hornets 67-52

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Lion senior Conner Belew bangs home a three pointer in Manila's Friday night victory at Harrisburg.

Manila bounced back from a tough Monday night loss to Osceola with a solid 67-52 victory over Harrisburg Friday night at Hornet Gym.

The Lions fell behind early when Weston Stanford drained a three pointer, giving the Hornets a 5-3 advantage. Bradey Woodall tied the game with a 12-foot jumper before Brock Birmingham and Conner Belew knocked down back to back triples to put Manila on top for good, 11-5. The Lions carried a 15-12 edge into the second stanza.

Manila banged home four consecutive treys, two by Woodall and one each from Joel Burrow and Birmingham, as the Lions forged ahead 29-21 at the half.

Manila's Joel Burrow skies for two during the Lions' senior high game Friday night at Harrisburg.  Burrow pumped in a game high 22 points as Manila defeated the Hornets 67-52. 

Birmingham’s 10-foot pullup jumper to begin the third period gave Manila a double-digit lead, 31-21. The Lions stretched their advantage to 16 points, 47-31, entering the final frame.

Manila went ahead by as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter, and finished the game with a 15-point win. It was a physical game and at one point in the third quarter, tempers flared on both benches.

“I believe this was the biggest margin of victory we’ve had here,” said Manila Coach Lee Wimberley. “It’s always a tough place to play. It was a rough, physical game. When it’s a rough game, you have to keep your composure, coaches included. I thought our kids definitely did. They made plays when they had to. We did take some ill-advised shots when we had a big lead in the fourth quarter. We have a lot of confidence in ourselves, but when we’re up by that many, we need to work the clock better instead of taking three’s. But the kids believe every shot they take is going to go in. Defensively, we’re getting better every week. If our defense continues to improve, we’re going to be a really good team in February.”

Manila's Trenton Thomas draws a charge in Friday night's 3A conference battle at Harrisburg.

Burrow pumped in game high 22 points to lead the Lions while Woodall finished with 15 and Birmingham dropped in 12. Conner Belew scored six, Daley Belew and Brian Gonzalez had four points each while Trenton Thomas and Dalton Hitchcock added two points apiece. Manila hit 11-14 free throw attempts and banged home 10 three pointers.

Stanford paced the Hornets with 15 points while Dylan Mathis and Walker Brown added 10 points apiece. Harrisburg went 13-22 from the foul line and made five treys.

In junior high action, Manila crushed Harrisburg 59-14. Ty Wagner led the Lions with 21 points while Austin Harmon pitched in 13. Jaron Burrow scored nine, Tyler Perez added five, Brayden Mattingly tallied four while Dax Davison, Matthew Gipson and Cameron Lee netted two points each. Jake Baltimore added one point.

The Lions played host to conference rival Osceola Tuesday night but dropped a close 75-71 decision to the Seminoles.

Osceola led 18-17 after the first quarter and increased their margin to 35-32 at the half. The Lions rallied in the third period and pulled ahead 53-52 entering the final frame before the Seminoles fought back to pull out the win.

Woodall pumped in a game high 23 points to pace the Lions, including an 11-11 performance from the foul stripe. Burrow dropped in 17 while Conner Belew hit double digits with 13 points. Birmingham scored seven, Thomas had six, Hitchcock contributed four while Daley Belew added one point.

In the junior high game, Manila hammered the Seminoles 52-33. Wagner scorched the nets for 29 points to pace the Lions. Mattingly scored nine, Harmon had eight, Perez tallied four while Davison chipped in two points.

The Lions return to action Tuesday night with a home game against Trumann before closing the week with a key 3A conference matchup at Rivercrest.

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