Lions lose heartbreaker to Brookland

Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Lion point guard Daley Belew attempts to drive past Monticello defender Morgan Jones (14) in the Honda of Jonesboro Brookland Invitational Tournament Thursday at Bearcat Arena. 

Manila got off to a fast start in the Honda of Jonesboro Brookland Invitational Tournament Thursday at Bearcat Gymnasium. The Lions defeated Class 4A Monticello 58-51 in first round action.

Brock Birmingham pumped in a game high 29 points to propel the Lions past the Billies. Trenton Thomas also hit double figures for Manila, scoring 11 points. Ty Wagner finished with eight, Daley Belew tallied six while Brian Gonzalez chipped in four points.

Shannon Strickland paced Monticello with 18 points while Keshaun Pippen added 16 more.

Manila's Brock Birmingham attempts to go to the basket against a pair of Monticello defenders in Thursday's game against the Billies at Brookland. 

Manila held a 27-21 lead at the half before increasing their advantage to 47-36 after three periods of play.

The Lions fell to host Brookland in the semifinals, losing a heartbreaking 52-50 decision to the Bearcats.

Braxton Haff sank two free throws with one second left to give Brookland the narrow win.

The Bearcats held a slim 15-12 edge after the first break before the Lions rallied to square things at 25-all by intermission. The two teams battled on even terms throughout the third quarter as the score remained tied 36-36 entering the final frame.

Birmingham topped Manila with 20 points while Braden Smith paced Brookland with 17. Haff added 15 more for the Bearcats.

In the consolation round on Saturday, Manila lost to Blytheville 57-49. Winston Peace led the Chickasaws with 16 points while Tedrick Washington pitched in 10.

Belew scored a game high 21 points to pace Manila while Birmingham chipped in 19 more.

The Lions led 17-12 after the first quarter and 29-25 at the half. The Chickasaws bounced back in the third quarter to take a 45-40 lead.

Manila kicked off the week Tuesday night by soundly thumping Crowley’s Ridge Academy 58-30. The Lions held a 13-9 advantage after the first stanza and took a 26-11 lead into the dressing room at halftime. Manila expanded its advantage to 46-19 after three quarters.

Birmingham pumped in 21 points to lead Manila while Belew added 10. Bennett Austin paced the Falcons with nine points.

In junior high action, Manila roared past the Falcons 54-25. Jake Baltimore topped the Lions with 16 points while Brayden Nunnally added 15.

Manila returns to action Monday night when they travel to Monette to take on Buffalo Island Central.

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