Walling's late free throws sink Lions, 53-52
Buffalo Island Central senior guard Canon Walling sank two free throws with seven seconds left, giving the Mustangs a heart-stopping 53-52 victory over rival Manila Friday night at the Mustang Athletic Complex in Monette.
Joel Burrow’s three-point play at the 36 second mark gave Manila its first lead of the night, 52-51. The Mustangs worked for the last shot, but with 19 seconds left, Andrew McFarlin was whistled for a charge, giving the ball back to the Lions. Forced to foul, BIC sent Burrow to the foul stripe with nine ticks remaining, but the senior forward misfired on the front end of the one and one, and the Lions were charged with a foul when the two teams battled for the rebound. After Walling dropped in both free throws to give BIC the lead, Manila called timeout to set up one last play. Bradey Woodall drove past the center stripe and momentarily lost the handle on the ball before launching a desperation three pointer that missed the mark.
The Mustangs came out smoking, nailing three treys in the opening quarter, two by Walling and one by Chayse Carmichael to grab a 15-10 lead at the break. BIC continued its torrid shooting in the second quarter from beyond the three-point arc, burying four consecutive triples to pull ahead 31-17 with 3:02 left in the half. Manila cut the lead to 33-22 at the 43 second mark, but Walling was fouled on a three- point attempt with three seconds left before intermission. Walling nailed all three foul shots, giving BIC a 36-22 halftime advantage.
Woodall came out strong in the third period, throwing in a couple of three-point bombs as the Lions battled back to cut the deficit to single digits. Burrow’s three-point play at the 2:16 mark pulled Manila to within 41-35, but McFarlin answered with back to back buckets for BIC as the Mustangs took a 45-35 advantage into the final frame.
Manila chiseled away at the BIC lead in the fourth quarter, and when Conner Belew came away with a steal and fed Brock Birmingham for an easy bucket, the Lions were suddenly within 45-41 at the 5:58 mark. A Burrow three pointer with 1:41 left made it a 49-46 affair. Manila chose to foul, sending Blaine Wildy to the line, where the junior hit 1-2 attempts, pushing the BIC lead to 50-46. Woodall dropped in another three-pointer at the 1:02 mark, slicing the Mustang advantage to 50-49. Manila fouled again, this time sending Carmichael to the stripe. Carmichael went 1-2 and BIC held a 51-49 advantage with 51 seconds remaining, setting up the game’s final frantic seconds.
“Basketball is a funny, funny game,” said BIC Coach Brandon Ballard. “The first half we made everything we shot. We got all the breaks. The second half, they were hitting shots. They got back in it and we knew they were coming. I tell my guys all the time that if they will play hard, good things will happen. We caught a break at the end after the missed free throw, when they fouled our best free throw shooter. It’s a special win for us.”
Walling topped the Mustangs with 19 points while Carmichael scored 12 and Pemberton delivered a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. McFarlin finished with seven while Wildy added five. BIC went 9-15 from the foul stripe and dropped in eight three pointers, seven coming in the first half.
Woodall paced the Lions with 16 points while Burrow scored 15 and Birmingham added 11. Trenton Thomas and Daley Belew tallied four points apiece while Dalton Hitchcock added two points. Manila connected on 6-9 charity tosses and made five three pointers. Each team committed 10 turnovers.
In the junior high game, Manila beat BIC 54-39. Ty Wagner poured in a game high 21 points to lead the Lions. Brayden Mattingly scored 11 while Austin Harmon tallied 10. Jake Baltimore had seven, Tyler Perez chipped in four while Jaron Burrow added one.
Matthew McMinn led BIC with 15 points. Grady Peel scored nine, Brayden Carmichael had seven, Caleb Suiter tallied five while Nathan Brinkley chipped in three points.
BIC will take the week off before competing in the 2A District Tournament beginning Saturday at East Poinsett County.
Manila will complete the regular season with three games next week. The Lions play host to Gosnell Tuesday night before entertaining Brookland on Wednesday. Manila finishes the week with a road trip Friday to Westside.