The Manual boys’ basketball team won its opening game in the Louisville Invitational Tournament (LIT) Wednesday afternoon after defeated Western High School 63-43. The Crimson defense lead the way for Manual, as the Crimsons held Western to just 27.7 percent shooting during the game.
“We played defense and we came out and got them under pressure, and they don’t really handle pressure that well, and that’s something that coach wanted us to do, and we did that pretty well,” Jake Chilton (12, #34) said. “We were able to turn them over and score off of those turnovers.”
Manual forced 21 turnovers in the ballgame, including 16 in the first half. Western struggled to get the ball up the court against the Crimson’s pressure.
“We got into our press defense, which we get up on them and we force them to dribble instead of making easy passes,” Chilton said. “When they can’t get down the court easily they tend to turn it over more.”
However, Head Coach Jimmy Just (Math) still wants to see Manual put in a complete game on the defensive end as well as more consistent pressure.
“We used it (full court pressure), I’m not sure if we were real good,” Coach Just said. “At times we got a few things out of it but we were just semi-effective. We didn’t really turn them over in the second half very much at all. We just got to get more solid defensively overall.”
After a strong first half in which the Crimsons outscored Western 30-12, the Crimsons cruised to the 20 point victory.
“In the second half, we need to work on keeping our momentum going, and not coast as much,” Jarrett Harness (12, #4) said. “We need to be able to keep extending the lead and keep hustling.”
The Crimsons also had a strong game offensively, as Manual shot 50 percent from the field, including 55.6 percent in the second half.
“We got pretty good looks most of the time because we were so patient,” Just said. Its when we didn’t show patience was when we got into trouble.”
Manual was better than Western in every statistic in the game except for rebounding. The Crimsons were outrebounded 40-32 on the glass, something that the undersized Crimsons will need to compete in the rest of the LIT.
“We need to rebound a lot better, we got outrebounded against a smaller team, so we need to work on that more,” Harness said.
Chilton pitched in a productive game for Manual, having 13 points on 6/11 shooting. Chilton also added 2 boards in 17 minutes of playing time.
“I just took shots that were open for me and I didn’t try to force any extra shots,” Chilton said. “I also moved the ball around to my teammates, and if you move the ball it will come back to you and I was able to get open shots that way.”
Dwayne Sutton (12, #22) lead the Crimsons in with 21 points and six rebounds in the ballgame, including 13 points in the second half alone. Sutton also delivered two monster back-to-back dunks in the third quarter. After Western went on a 7-0 run to cut the Manual lead 16 with 3:33 left in the third quarter to give the Warriors a little bit of life, Sutton drove down the lane and threw in a one handed jam over a defender. After a Crimson stop, Sutton drove baseline for a two handed slam and a foul.
“I think the first one was better because I had a full head of steam and it was one-handed,” Sutton said. “I usually dunk with two hands, but I like the one-hand better. I think it was probably the best dunk of my career.”
However, Sutton was given a questionable technical foul call after the second call.
“The ref said that he was on the rim longer than he should have, so that’s it,” Just said.
With the win, Manual now advances to the quarterfinals of the LIT, where the Crimsons will face Bullitt East. Manual will need to be able to play well defensively to win the ballgame.
“We just have to make sure that we work on defense because they (Bullitt East) are a very good offensive team,” Chilton said. “They have a lot of shooters so we have to make sure we know who the shooters are and cover them.”
Just wants Manual to play a consistent game on Friday.
“We have to get our minds right because we know that we are getting into a battle. Its going to be a tougher game, we just have to step up and be a little more consistent with what we’re doing.”
Manual will play Bullitt East in the quarterfinals of the LIT on Friday at 5:30 pm at Valley High School.