The Manual Crimsons boys’ and girls’ basketball teams played their homecoming games Friday night against Central High School. The girls won 85-39, and the boys lost in double overtime 77-74.
Manual came out on fire on both sides of the ball. Seniors Aniah Griffin (#21, 12), Jaela Johnson (#3, 12) and Tyonne Howard (#12, 12) led the Crimson attack.
Manual jumped out to a 15-0 lead with 3:38 left in the first quarter and never looked back.
Johnson and Griffin in the first half making multiple 3-point-shots to get the lead. At the end of the first quarter the Crimson led 19-6.
The second quarter went pretty much the same as the first. Manual continued to pound the ball inside to get easy layups and stayed stiff on the defensive end.
At the end of the first half the Crimsons led the Yellowjackets 39-21.
‘We practiced, we played hard and we just did what we could,” Central’s Aurianna Burnett said.
At the start of the third quarter the Yellowjackets had possession of the ball, but Manual’s Nila Blackford (#41, 11) forced a turnover and scored a layup on the offensive end.
The Crimsons continued to pour on the points in the third quarter.
At the end of the third quarter, Manual was up 58-31.
Manual head coach Jeff Sparks began to substitute in the underclassmen during the fourth quarter. The new group gained experience while the starters were able to rest and avoid injury.
“Each time we play a district opponent it’s going to matter,” head coach Jeffrey Sparks said. “We had it coming and ready to play, and I thought we did a good job.”
When it was all said and done, Manual came out on top 85-49.
In between the two games, the 2017-2018 homecoming court was awarded.
Byron Mayes (9, J&C) and Alana Fields (9, J&C) won homecoming Prince and Princess.
Evan Farmer (12, MST) and Olivia Evans (12, J&C) won King and Queen.
The Yellowjackets won the opening tip but strong defense by Noah Hawkins (#32, 12) and Eli Roberts (#24, 10) prevented Central from scoring.
Hawkins opened the scoring for the Crimsons with a tough layup down low.
Both Manual and Central played very defensively, creating multiple turnovers and barely scoring for the first quarter.
At the end of the first quarter, the score was tied 12-12.
At the start of the second quarter Central came out on fire and took the lead, making the score of the game 21-15 with 5:03 left in the first half.
However, Manual didn’t falter when Central pulled away, and the Crimsons tied the game at 27-27 heading into halftime.
The Yellowjackets and Crimsons traded buckets on their first possessions on the second half, but Central jumped out to a seven point lead shortly after.
Both offenses came to life in the third quarter as Central carried a 47-46 lead into the final quarter of play.
Over the last eight minutes of the game saw the offenses disappear again, as the teams combined for just 23 points in the period. However, Manual scored just enough and the Crimsons were able to force overtime.
At the end of the regulation game, the score was tied 58-58.
Central controlled most of the first overtime period and maintained a 69-63 lead with just 17 second remaining. There was still some magic left as a pair of Crimsons came to save the day.
Back-to-back threes by Luke Carns and Zach Recktenwald tied the score at 69-69 and forced a second overtime period.
However, the magic didn’t carry over into the next period as Central came away with the victory.
“I think we battled very hard, but we for sure did not play a good game. A lot of mental mistakes and mistakes with commmunication really cost us,” Luke Carns (#23, 12) said. “A big improvement has to come with [our] free throws.”
The score was Central 77, Manual 74.
The boys basketball team will play in the Woodford Co. Invitational next week, and the girls will be competing in a holiday tournament over this break.