On March 5, the Manual girls basketball team clinched their spot in state sweet 16 tournament next week. It was not easy for the Lady Crimsons, who were without Head Coach Stacey Pendleton. Manual held off Assumption to win the game by a score of 36-34.
Due to Coach Pendleton’s suspension, Assistant Coach and Government teacher Mr. Tim Holman filled in his shoes. Mr. Holman energized the team early to take a 5-0 lead, all points being scored by Destony Curry (12).Manual’s defense forced Assumption to miss their first nine shots, not scoring until about five minutes into the game. The first quarter ended with Manual up 12-4.
Manual held their lead and controlled the second quarter, continuing to stop everything Assumption was trying to do on offense. Manual went into halftime with a comfortable 21-10 lead. However you could tell the team was not playing as good as they can be and was clearly still adjusting to Holman. “His voice still couldn’t fill the void of coach P’s presence; he was severely missed,” said Morgan Allen (12).
Assumption did not give up easy, coming out ready to play in the second half. Assumption getting hot mixed with Manual’s turnovers to put Manual only up five going into the fourth quarter. Everyone in the gym could see the momentum turning and Assumption beginning to make a comeback.
The momentum continued to build for Assumption and Manual turning over the ball was helping out the Rockets. Manual had 5 turnovers in their first 7 possessions to start the fourth quarter. Destony Curry (12) hit a huge three for Manual to give the Lady Crimsons a 34-29 lead with about five minutes left in the game. This would remain the score for about four minutes, until Assumption knocked down two free throws making them only down three.
After several sets of free throws for both teams, Assumption had the ball with 11.6 seconds left only down two. Manual’s defense stayed strong and forced an off balance shot for Assumption that would fail to go in, giving Manual the victory. Curry lead Manual with 13 points. “I just scored when I needed to in order to get my team up,” Curry said. “I’m just glad I was able to contribute and help my team get the win”. Styles (12) added eight points for the Lady Crimsons.
This puts Manual in the state sweet 16 tournament with a chance to defend their state title. The Lady Crimsons will face Mercy on thursday March, 14 at 2:30. The whole sweet 16 will be played at Western Kentucky University.