Lions open season with 76-67 win over BIC

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Manila senior Jake Helton blocks BIC's Cory Turner's shot attempt in the Lions' season opener Tuesday night at Manila. The Lions hung on to defeat the Mustangs 76-67.

Manila opened its 2015-2016 basketball campaign Tuesday night at home with a 76-67 victory over Buffalo Island Central in a game marred by fouls. The two teams combined to shoot an incredible 88 free throws, including 21 apiece in the fourth quarter alone.

Manila roared out of the gate and took a 15-8 lead after the opening period. Joel Burrow opened the Lions season, nailing a three pointer, and Patrick Tanner closed the quarter with another trey as Manila took a seven point lead. The Lions continued to build their advantage in the second stanza, getting balanced scoring from seven different players to take a 36-23 lead into the dressing room at intermission. Travon Cobb kept the Mustangs close with 15 first half points.

The Lions continued to widen the gap in the third stanza, getting treys from Jeremiah May and Bradey Woodall, and held a 50-29 lead after a Jeremiah May basket with 3:01 left in the quarter. But the Mustangs fought back by hitting eight straight foul shots, including two by Andrew McFarlin at the close of the period to whittle the Lion advantage to 56-41.

Manila sophomore Bradey Woodall drives for two of his team high 23 points in the Lion's season opening 76-67 victory over BIC Tuesday night at Manila. Mustang Canon Walling defends.

Cobb and McFarlin combined to drain eight consecutive charity tosses to begin the fourth quarter as the Mustangs continued to cut in to the Manila advantage, slicing the lead to 59-51 with 4:58 to go in the game. BIC closed to within 62-58 at the 2:57 mark on an inside bucket by Cobb, but the Lions answered when Woodall streaked for a steal and drove through the lane for a lay-in to push the Lion lead to six.

After a technical foul was whistled on Mustang Coach Bill Taylor, Matthew May connected on one of two foul shots to increase the Manila lead to 65-48 with 2:42 left. Four consecutive Woodall free throws, both coming on the double bonus, pushed the Lion lead to 69-58 with 1:30 remaining, and the Lions were never threatened again.

"We made some sophomore mistakes tonight but we had some young kids that really played well," said Lion Coach Lee Wimberley. "Joel Burrow hit a big three for us and Bradey Woodall played a fantastic game. Jeremiah May played a great game in his first varsity action. When Matthew May got in foul trouble, it allowed BIC to get back into the game. The bottom line is we have to keep him on the floor. I think we will be a good club by the middle of the year and really good when post season comes around and we get it all together. We're just now coming out of football and we have a lot of young players. There were a lot of fouls called in this game, 61 total. Hopefully we won't see that again this year. But this was a very good win and I am proud of them."

Manila finished 24-35 from the foul stripe and made five three pointers. The Lions committed 21 turnovers on the night. BIC shot a whopping 53 free throws and hit 36 while making a pair of treys.

Woodall led Manila with 23 points while Matthew May and Burrow added 16 and 11 respectively. Jeremiah May scored seven, Dylon Carruth had six, Jake Helton scored four, Tanner netted three while Marcos Flores, Logan Hamilton and Burch Milano chipped in two points apiece. The Lions took advantage of their depth, playing 13 players in the game.

Cobb scored a game high 30 to lead the Mustangs while McFarlin added 26 more. Cory Turner tallied five, DePriest had four while Chayse Carmichael chipped in two points.

Manila closed the week, rallying from a six point halftime deficit to defeat Rector 44-41 Saturday on the road.

Manila returns to action Tuesday night, traveling to Cedar Ridge to face the Timberwolves.